In light of the national debate about the current Washington administration’s rescinding of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, the New Paltz Central School District reiterated their commitment to educating all children in the district regardless of immigration status.
At the recent Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, September 20, board president Michael O’Donnell read a brief statement confirming the formal resolution the board passed in March of this year supporting the right of every child to a free public education for students in kindergarten through 12th grade, in accordance with Article 11 of the New York State Constitution and supported by a ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court.
“In that commitment, we remain resolute,” said O’Donnell, noting that the district’s position is that education is not only a legal right regardless of immigration status, but a moral matter.
“I would like us to also be conscious of the emotional and legal insecurity that may result from this national discussion. While immigration status may not be an issue for an individual student, staff or faculty member, it could very well have profound impacts on their friends and family. For example, consider that even defenses of so-called “dreamers,” by focusing on their educational and employment status, introduces a debate on the relative worth of our fellow human beings. Let us go forward with vigilance, and appreciation of our collective humanity.”