City councilors yesterday urged the School Committee to declare a formal "sanctuary school" policy that would prohibit ICE agents from entering BPS schools and facilities without "explicit permission" from both the school superintendent and the Suffolk County district attorney.
Councilors agreed with a request from Councilor Tito Jackson (Roxbury), who chairs the council education committee, for a hearing at which to press the point with school officials.
Councilors Annissa Essaibi-George, who taught at East Boston High School until her election in 2015, Ayanna Pressley, Andrea Campbell, Josh Zakim and Matt O'Malley rose to support Jackson's proposed measure, which would also bar school officials from "all voluntary information sharing with ICE across all aspects of BPS to the fullest extent possible under the law."
Jackson said some students are so fearful they now go to school with their favorite teddy bear should they be hauled away from school. Kids "are truly afraid and scared," Essaibi-George said.
Jackson and Pressley said school officials should be working to train teachers figure out how to react should ICE agents burst into schools anyway. Zakim added officials should be working on anti-bullying efforts, because he's now hearing about non-immigrant kids pointing at immigrants and going "you're next."
Campbell added she is worried about the status of a large number of Haitian residents in her district here under a special designation following natural disasters in their country, because that designation expires in July.