Re-2 to reassure community it will protect all students
With all the talk of immigration and deportation nationwide, the Garfield School District Re-2 has begun to draft a letter to distribute throughout the district reassuring parents that the district will protect all students.
“We tried to come up with a letter that represented all children,” Re-2 Superintendent Brent Curtice told the board at Tuesday’s meeting.
In the letter it states that Re-2 is “committed to providing equal educational opportunities and a safe learning and working environment for all of our students and staff regardless of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, martial status or disability.”
Theresa Hamilton, Garfield Re-2 director of districtwide services, helped draft the letter and said that it was an assimilation of multiple pieces, including the board policy and a similar letter sent from Roaring Fork.
“It takes the position of the protection of all students rather than calling out any individual, student or staff,” she told the board.
The letter includes answers to commonly asked questions that are floating around the community right now based off of what Rifle Chief of Police Tommy Klein shared at the last board meeting, according to Hamilton.
Some of the questions include: “What impact does my or my child’s immigration status have on my child’s education?” and “Does Garfield Re-2 ask for a child’s immigration status when he or she enrolls?”
“I do feel like a lot of our staff would like to see something along these lines, but I do think that it fits the intent of our community and supports our community values,” said Board President Anne Guettler.
The school board took no action Tuesday as the letter will be amended with the recommended changes from the meeting and will go to the Re-2 principals for suggestions. Once input is heard and changes are made, it will come back to the board for approval.
“I think it’s just important,” said Jay Rickstrew, “that we get something in writing,” Secretary Shirley Parks finished his sentence for him. “Because it affects all children,” he continued, “if their friends are concerned or families are concerned. This school is a safe place regardless of what is going on, whether it is an immigration issue or a family issue, we have got to make sure school is a safe place.”
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