By Supt. Kyla Johnson-Trammell, Oakland Unified School District
The Trump administration (has) declared that it will end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in six months.
In OUSD, we received this news with heavy hearts as many of our students, families and staff are protected by this federal immigration policy.
DACA allows children who arrived in the U.S. without documentation to stay and thrive. Although Congress has time to act on the decision, we face uncertainty right now.
DACA is aligned with our district’s value of equity and our belief that children and families who have overcome remarkable barriers to be here deserve a chance.
What’s more, in OUSD we consider the diversity of our community to be our greatest asset.
We are a Sanctuary District, and no political decision will weaken our commitment to do everything in our power to support our Dreamers – the students, staff and family members who are DACA recipients. This is a critical time for us to strengthen our safety net, and I’m very proud of the leadership our educators are displaying.
This Saturday, Sept, 9, more than 250 teachers and supporters will attend Bringing Sanctuary to the Classroom, which OUSD’s Sanctuary District Committee organized to promote safe, culturally responsive environments in our schools.
That afternoon, the broader Oakland community will gather outside City Hall to protest the decision on DACA.
We will draw on our district value of Students First to keep our focus on the needs of Dreamers. Counselors and staff at school health centers will be available to care for our students today and in the coming weeks. As we learn more about the impact of this decision, we will update ousd.org/DACA and include information from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (www.ilrc.org)
It is essential that we not let this decision interrupt learning or prevent children from coming to school. This is the time to stand strong as a sanctuary community.