In the coming months we will potentially face a myriad of threats to our students, communities and public schools under a President Trump administration. Immigrants in particular have been the targets and subjects of some of Trump’s most vile and vicious campaign rhetoric. We must stand prepared and ready to act should he follow through.
Last May a resolution was brought to the UFT Delegate Assembly by TeachDream that called for an Immigrant Liaison in every school (similar to the sustainability coordinator). That resolution passed, nothing has been done however. MORE HS Exec Board members have raised this issue and we still have not been given any assurance this resolution is being moved forward with the DOE.
Please find here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_GNaeUA10XeZTgiwyK6HJ2S9TerP7XxOYebnyHqIygA/edit (and pasted below) a letter for folks to use at their schools, with their chapters, to sign on and support a call for the UFT and DOE to work together to ensure there is an Immigration Liaison in every school with immigrant students by September 2017. The letter further calls on the UFT to work with other groups to create a toolkit for school communities to educate our members and families about immigrant rights and law as well as calling to work together to plan actions to support immigrant students and families. A more specific resolution is already drafted to push for NYC DOE schools to be sanctuary schools (among other points).
Please report the number of signatures you collect in your chapter OR if your chapter votes to support, indicate that here:https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1BBaQueTeZczZGNmWA9LzaZ1O9v8MBq80didgzRkc5Eo/edit?ts=5840da00
Or you can email your numbers/chapter support to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please report your chapter’s support to the link or the email by December 21st.
When we have a significant number of signatures/chapters supporting, we will again bring this issue to the leadership and bring forward the additional resolution that is, as of now, drafted by TeachDream. TeachDream also has the workings of a toolkit up and running that should be ready for distribution in the near future.
Finally, check out John G’s article on teaching and learning with students who are immigrants in a time of fear and uncertainty: http://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/ny/2016/12/02/my-students-are-worried-about-their-families-being-deported-heres-what-i-stopped-world-history-class-to-tell-them/
Please share this information, the chapter letter, and the link/email to indicate support far and wide.
Chapter support letter:
Dear President Mulgrew and Chancellor Farina,
In May 2016, a resolution, brought by rank and file members who have been working to support immigrant students for years, was passed by the entire UFT Delegate Assembly. This resolution calls for … “the NYC Department of Education to require that each school with immigrant students appoint an ‘Immigration Adviser’ (similar to the ‘sustainability coordinator’ or ‘anti-bullying liaison’) to ensure that school processes are welcoming and safe for immigrant students and families.”
Our chapter (or organization) believes that it is important that this resolution be fiercely advocated for, and we call on the UFT to ensure that, in cooperation with the DOE, each school have immigration advisors by the start of the 2017-2018 school year
In the days since the election, many of NYC’s diverse students and families have been nervous and afraid because of the racist, Islamophobic, sexist and anti-immigrant campaign rhetoric of Donald Trump. Advisers with connections to white nationalist groups have been given positions of extraordinary importance in this nation’s government.
Many rank and filers alongside leaders in the UFT participated in a day of action to defend and reassure our students on November 21st. Groups of teachers, including, NYCoRE, TeachDream, MORE, and Teachers Unite have held forums and created curricula to address the situation. We call on the UFT leadership to bring together as wide a group of educators as possible to create a toolkit for educators and schools to support school communities with education, organization and mobilization around immigrant rights and protections.
Finally, we would also like to see a resolution modeled after the one passed by the Los Angeles Unified School Board. On Tuesday, November 15th, 2016, “The Los Angeles Board of Education voted to approve a resolution reaffirming L.A. Unified’s current policy, which directs school staff members not to allow federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents onto school campuses unless their visit has been approved by the superintendent and the district’s lawyers. Board members also seconded a policy that protects the immigration information and identities of students, family members and school staff. Given the policy changes that are coming from Washington, we believe the safety of our students requires similar regulations for New York City.
New York City’s public school teachers can and should play a critical role in educating, organizing, and mobilizing its members to fight for those in our communities most at risk during the current political climate. We are eager to begin this work together.
Names of members of your chapter and/or take a vote at a chapter meeting that is open to all UFT members.