Toronto's 550 public schools will not allow federal officials to question their students about the immigration status of their families, effective in September.
The Toronto District School Board's new policy, passed at a meeting Wednesday night, comes in the wake of a widely criticized incident at a Toronto Catholic high school, where federal officials pulled students out of class to track down parents staying in Canada illegally.
In the new school year, federal officials will have to meet with the school board director if they have questions about possible illegal immigrants.
Trustee Josh Matlow said the school board, which oversees administration for about 450 elementary schools and 100 secondary schools, decided it had to act quickly to send a message to the federal government about the approach of its immigration officials.
The Toronto Catholic District School Board adopted a similar policy recently.
WED. MAY 24, 2006
ACCESS TO EDUCATION WITHOUT FEAR OF DEPORTATION!
6:30PM, TORONTO DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD OFFICE, 5050 YONGE ST.
Educators, Parents, Students & Concerned Community Members,
On Thursday April 27th, Kimberly and Gerald Lizano-Sossa were picked up at their school by immigration officials and taken to the Rexdale immigration holding centre. Thefollowing day, while the traumatized school community rallied in their support, two other children were picked up, this time at St. Jude's Catholic School, where they were held as 'bait' until their mother arrived. In both cases, the families and school communities have been traumatized, and the sense of security that students should have at school has been seriously undermined. These incidents stand as stark examples of necessity of a strong policy to ensure that all learners have access to education without fear.
Help us to ensure that all Toronto-area students have ACCESS TO EDUCATION without the fear that Immigration Enforcement agents will enter and disrupt students' classrooms and lives.