Delaware Public Media

Christina School District votes in 'safe space' rule

Apr 12, 2017

The Christina School District is the latest in the country to adopt a ‘safe space’ policy for students unauthorized to live in the U.S.

Under the policy adopted through a 4-2 vote, Christina School District employees wouldn’t have to accept any request to speak with a student from a federal immigration agent.

 

Instead, the district superintendent would review the situation with a lawyer before granting access to a child.

 

Federal agents were discouraged from detaining people at places like schools, churches and hospitals under President Obama.

 

But board member John Young, who proposed the policy, says he doesn’t trust the Trump Administration to continue that legacy.

 

“Fear by its very nature is, or can be, classified as irrational and in the current political environment I think rationality kind of disappears and even though it hasn’t happened I think there’s reason to believe it could happen,” Young said.

 

District workers didn’t have to cooperate with ICE agents before the new policy took effect either, since deportations are a civil court matter.

 

Young says he wants to take that decision out of the hands out of everyday employees.

 

“I don’t know that I have faith that if an ICE agent showed up with an administrative warrant they would say, ‘By the way, this is only an administrative warrant and you’re not forced to comply.’ I think they’re going to ask for the kid if it ever came to that and I don’t want my staff to be in the position of having to determine whether or not they’re staring at a lawful warrant,” he said.

 

Christina School District joins several other around the country with similar policies, including New York City, Chicago and Miami.

Young first floated the ‘safe space’ idea two months ago, but it since underwent a significant revision and was reviewed by the local ACLU.

It takes effect immediately.