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Kansas City Public Schools declared a safe haven for immigrant students, parents, staff

Students at Northeast Middle School in the Kansas City Public School District which has a new policy prohibiting ICE agents on property without a warrant
Students at Northeast Middle School in the Kansas City Public School District which has a new policy prohibiting ICE agents on property without a warrant The Kansas City Star

Kansas City Public School officials to Immigration and Customs Enforcement: You are not welcome here.

The Kansas City Public School Board on Wednesday unanimously approved a resolution that would prohibit ICE officials from entering schools without a warrant. It is effective immediately.

“Kansas City Public Schools is an inclusive school system and we want to assure our community that our schools are safe havens,” said Natalie Allen, district spokeswoman.

The new Welcoming Schools Resolution “prohibits discrimination and harassment against employees, students or others on the basis of immigration status, sex, race, religion, color national origin, ancestry, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information or any other factor prohibited by law or based upon a belief that such a factor exists.”

And while the policy mandates a zero tolerance for discrimination by students, teachers or staff against a child or parent “due to a known or conceived belief that the individual is undocumented,” it also bans ICE agents from school property while school is in session or some school activity is going on.

In addition, school officials will not collect any information regarding a student’s immigration status, the policy states.

“No matter a student's legal status, sexual orientation, ableness, gender, race or zip code, KCPS will welcome him/her with open arms and provide the best education possible,” Allen said.

The policy says that the school board finds that federal immigration investigation and law enforcement activity at district schools or on buses “significantly disrupt the school environment, interrupt learning, impede the safety and security of the school environment, and infringe on student’s rights to free access to public education.”

Allen said, “principals and teachers have been trained to call our legal office if ICE shows up without a warrant and we go from there.”

Mará Rose Williams: 816-234-4419, @marawilliamskc

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