Amherst school policy protects undocumented students

Policy prevents staff from referring students to ICE

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – The Amherst Regional Public Schools have approved a policy designed to protect undocumented immigrant students. Every student in the district has received a notice outlining this policy, which was unanimously approved by the school committee on Tuesday.

It says that staff will not refer students and families to immigration enforcement if they are known to be undocumented. The policy also denies Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents access to school property, unless a signed warrant is given to the superintendent and district counsel.

Superintendent Michael Morris says that this new policy strengthens their message of inclusion when it comes to the children in their district.

“A policy actually raises the stakes in terms of our process and procedures, and more so solidifies a more permanent solution to the challenge we’re heading in terms of how immigrant families feel in our schools, and knowing that we’re there to support them,” Morris said.

The district will also require written authorization from an ICE agent’s authorizing official for any interviews to take place on school property. Morris said they would notify the student being questioned of their right to refuse to answer questions.

In the district, Morris said that there are some 38 languages spoken other than English.