SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — The South Kingstown School Committee voted unanimously to approve a resolution that the district would not cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents that approach the district to find information on any of its students.
“I think that even in Rhode Island, you are pretty aware of what is happening with immigration enforcement all over the country, especially at the border,” said Sarah Markey, vice-chair of the committee. “I think the pictures, the stories you hear, and just the heartbreak really got to myself and other School Committee members.”
The resolution provides protection for all undocumented children, refugee children as well as their families on school grounds.
“This is a good way to protect our students,” said Markey.
The committee chair, Stephanie Canter, stated that “the protocol regarding ICE operations was established in the district’s Campus Safety Policy in October 2018.”
The resolution says that district employees would refuse to collaborate with ICE agents except for if a valid judicial order was presented, verified by the district superintendent and its legal counsel.
“We know that immigration enforcement activities have no role in school,” said Canter. “We have to send a message out that this is an inclusive and welcoming environment to all students and families.”
“There are families in South Kingstown that are undocumented,” said Markey. “Over the past couple of years, they have been nervous and scared. It is something that has been on the minds of members of our community and those of people impacted by anti-immigrant sentiment…we are not going to stand by and say nothing.”
If you would like to see the meeting in full, you can click here.