Are all students legally guaranteed a free public education regardless of their immigration status?
Yes. All students, regardless of immigration status, have a right to a free and equitable K–12 education, per the Plyler v. Doe U.S. Supreme Court decision.
Would the district ever share a student’s immigration status with federal immigration officials?
Under most circumstances, by federal (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, FERPA) and state law, the district is prohibited from disclosing student information without parental consent.
Even if Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents present a removal warrant (deportation order) to a school staff member, the district will generally refrain from providing student information.
If the district is served with a subpoena or court order disclosure may be required. In this case, district staff may be required to share information from a student’s educational record. The district follows all notification requirements prior to making any disclosures.
What is MMSD’s position on discrimination and harassment?
We prohibit discrimination or harassment of our students, families or employees on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, national origin and many other protected classes.
What should I do if I feel I have been discriminated against or harassed in our schools?
If you feel you have been the victim of discrimination or harassment, we encourage you to report it. Here are three ways to do so:
Report the behavior immediately to your school principal or staff member.
Contact Eric Kestin, Title IX Investigator at 608-663-1530.
We take these complaints very seriously and rely on our families, students and staff to share concerns so we can ensure everyone’s safety.
My student is undocumented and is hoping to go to college. Are there any opportunities available to them?
What is Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)?
The U.S. has an agency called Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that enforces federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration.
Can ICE come into our schools?
We have a policy that limits law enforcement activities in district schools. Law enforcement may not investigate or interview students in school without express permission to do so from a principal. Parental permission is also required in most circumstances.
What would MMSD do if ICE activity is observed in or around our schools?
We have in place a rapid response team that has created a protocol to support children and families in the event that we begin to see immigration enforcement actions in or around our schools.
What can my family do to prepare for any interaction with ICE?
Make sure that family members and students understand their rights. Feel free to contact your school principal, counselor or social worker for guidance on resources to support you, or contact one of the local or national organizations listed here.
I am concerned about deportation. Should I send my child to school?
Although we do not know at this time what approach federal authorities will take toward undocumented students and families, all MMSD students, regardless of immigration status, are valued members of our community and we are committed to ensuring that they are always welcome and safe in our schools. We always encourage students to attend school so as to not negatively impact their instructional time; however, we strongly support you in making the decision that is best for your child.
I am undocumented but my children are U.S. citizens. Will they lose their citizenship?
The U.S. Constitution grants citizenship to all people born in the U.S. regardless of their parents’ immigration status.
I am undocumented / have undocumented family members. How can MMSD support me and my family?
Key staff in schools are prepared to support the emotional well-being of all students regardless of immigration status. Feel free to contact your school principal, student services staff for resources that might support you. You can also contact our Office of Multilingual and Global Education at 608-663-8440. You do not need to disclose your immigration status to receive support services.
What is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)?
DACA is a kind of administrative relief from deportation. The purpose of DACA is to protect immigrant youth who meet certain eligibility criteria from deportation. DACA gives young undocumented immigrants: 1) protection from deportation, and 2) a work permit.
My native language is not English. How can MMSD support me and my family?
You can contact your school’s Bilingual Resource Specialist (BRS) to request interpretation services.
If you have additional questions about your rights, immigration enforcement, deportation, citizenship and/or DACA, we recommend contacting one of the many local or national organizations listed here for guidance and support. Seek assistance from a reputable immigration lawyer. Visit immigrationlawhelp.org for more information about non-profit legal service organizations by state.