June 21, 2018
Puget Sound Educational Service District is deeply concerned about the new atrocities that we are seeing in the form of immigration control and the brutal separation of children from their families. The images and recordings in the news are shocking and upsetting – and they are terrifying children and families in our communities, deterring them from participating in educational programs. Although the President signed an Executive Order yesterday ending this practice, it is still unclear how the 2,300 already-separated children will be reunited with their parents. We know the generations-long impact of trauma on children and families, since this is not the first time the United States government has taken children from families of color. We are in contact with our federal Congressional delegation to share the impact of such policies on the communities we are accountable to, and are collaborating with community-based organizations to ally in advocacy efforts.
We also echo the statement made by the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction: “Our students who are undocumented and their families are vital members of our schools and communities. Our schools should be safe places, focused on learning and helping students reach their highest ideals. Schools should never serve as a channel for the federal government to make students feel unsafe.”
As an agency, we will do everything we can to ensure all children are safe in their schools, as well as amplify the voices of their families and communities. We urge the federal government to end its cruel and inhumane immigration policies and to reunite all incarcerated children with their families immediately.
John P. Welch