Teachers.Net Asks...

Chatboard Poll

Teachers.Net Chatboard Poll...

What would you do if you discovered (and were the only one who knew) that a studentís family was living in this country illegally?
Regular Feature in the Gazette
August 1, 2008

We asked on the Teacher Chatboard:

What would you do if you discovered (and were the only one who knew) that a studentís family was living in this country illegally?

Posted by Yellow Rose:
I would do nothing.

Posted by Nikki:
Nothingóyouíre there to teach that student, not be a watchdog for the INS. Think about itówhat trust will that child ever have in you or any other teacher for that matter if you turn in their family member? What will they learn?

Posted by PST:
I would do nothing. I am not in the business of deciding who belongs where.

Posted by jane.eyre:
Not a thing

Posted by TLC:
I was looking through a students file and noticed a Mexican birth certificate. We require birth certificates so this is a regular part of school documentation. I asked the secretary if we ask if a student is in the country legally (or something to that effect). She said that she was told, "Donít ask & donít tell." It is called "turn the other way." We could locate many, many illegal families through schools but no one is willing to do this. When I attach a sweet and kind little cherubs face to this birth certificate then I am not sure I want to tell either. So... heart or head??

Posted by me:
I am a bit confused. Why does a Mexican birth certificate make the family illegal? Couldnít they possibly have come to this country legally after they were born?

Posted by Addie/mo:
Just because a student has a Mexican birth cert, doesnít necessarily mean he/she is here illegally. It just means the child was born in Mexico. Besides, what permission would you have to share what is in a studentís file with anyone else?

Posted by MEG:
A large number of our families have one or more members who are here illegally and what we do is educate the children.

Posted by as I understand:
There is a court decision, I believe, that the schools are not to inquire about the legal status of students. As long as the student resides in the area served by the public school they are eligible to attend.

Posted by flowerchild:
I guess President Bush IS a great President, after all, because he completely put a halt to terrorist attacks on us. Everyone here is completely confident that there will be no more attacks. So confident, they would never report people they know are here illegally, even if those people are employed at the airport, seaport, large public buildings, military plants, infrastructure, etc. Hey, I used to work fifty miles from the largest stockpile of plutonium in the U.S. Nah, couldnít happen...

And you know, so what if unscrupulous employers hire illegals not only because they pay them little, but because illegals wonít report unsafe work conditions. So a plant blows up and kills dozens of people, including the parents of the school children and a few people in the neighborhood...when youíre numberís up itís up. Or if workersí children get diseases from contamination brought home from the contaminated worksite...at least we educated the children.

Posted by johnee77:
The last thing that worries me about my illegal immigrant children and their families is the possibility of terrorist attack. I just thank the Lord that I got a chance to help take one little girl out of a situation where her father used her to pay his drug debts. I feel better even though the President is inciting the world against us and telling the public to look the other way!

Posted by PAG:
You are not required by federal law to report illegal immigrant students.

In 1982, the Supreme Court rules in Plyler v. Doe , 457 U.S. 202 (1982), that public schools were prohibited from denying immigrant students access to a public education. The Court stated that undocumented children have the same right to a free public education as U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Undocumented immigrant students are obligated, as are all other students, to attend school until they reach the age mandated by state law. U.S. Supreme Court Case Plyler vs. Doe

Posted by PST:
Many schools have a written policy that you are not inquire, investigate, or share the legal/illegal status of any student or their family.

Posted by mama maria:
Itís been a long time for me but we were specifically told not to do say or even ask about legal status. I thought all districts and states had policies on this?

Posted by Joan:
I would leave that one alone. if I discovered something very serious like child abuse then I would speak up.

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