100516 La Honda walk to school day (copy)

In this Oct. 5, 2016, file photo, students at La Honda STEAM Academy make their way to school during Walk to School Day. The LUSD Board of Education approved a resolution Tuesday that makes each Lompoc campus a "safe place" and aims to alleviate the fears of undocumented students and their families. 

Contributed photo

Lompoc Unified School District joined with other districts in Santa Barbara County and around the state on Tuesday in adopting a resolution aimed at alleviating the fears of undocumented students.

The LUSD Board of Education unanimously approved the resolution at its Tuesday meeting. Among other things, the resolution states that the district will be a “safe place” for students and their families regardless of immigration status, and that the district will “keep immigration authorities off our campuses to the fullest extent provided by law.”

The legislation is a direct result of Donald Trump winning the 2016 presidential election. Following the conclusion of the election, in which Trump vowed to crack down on immigration and deport those who are in the U.S. without proper documentation, students and staff within LUSD have experienced apprehension, according to district staff.

“Sadly, the highly charged negative discourse taking place at all levels is being felt locally in our schools,” read a portion of the resolution. “Administrators and teachers have shared the real, everyday impact that fear is having in our classrooms.”

It went on to state that “the November election was polarizing for students as well as adults. As teachers can attest, students who identify as LGBTQ, female, disabled, Muslim, or as a person of color view the recent election through a very different lens than others whose point of view differs and whose vote should be equally respected.”

With the resolution, LUSD also affirmed that it will welcome and support children from all backgrounds and will protect the confidentiality of information it has about students and their families.

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"Even though the Supreme Court in 1982 passed a resolution stating that public school(s) cannot ask for a student's immigration status, or deny enrollment due to lack of documentation, there is still a lot of fear and uncertainty on the part of some uninformed parents and students," said Dick Barrett, LUSD board member. "So, we wanted to draft a resolution to educate them, support them and calm them."

The Santa Maria Joint Union High School and Guadalupe Union School districts, among many others, each adopted similar resolutions in January.

Willis Jacobson covers the city of Lompoc for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @WJacobsonLR.

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