Easthampton schools prepare for ICE personnel visits - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Easthampton schools prepare for ICE personnel visits

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EASTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

A new training initiative for Easthampton Public Schools employees.

The school committee unanimously approved a resolution Thursday night that details the rights of undocumented students.

Starting this school year, teachers, staff, and administrators will be trained on how to respond to immigration and customs enforcement personnel.

A school committee member told me they’ve already had this policy, but now it’s official and specifically applies to immigration status.

The Easthampton school committee unanimously approved a resolution for training school employees on how to deal with immigration authorities.

One school committee member told Western Mass News that the resolution is similar to policies that have already been in place at all Easthampton schools, for example, visitors need to state the reason for their visit.

But now, it's official, and it specifically applies to the immigration status of students.

“Children really have empathy for each other and they get afraid that their friends are going to disappear,” said a school teach, Mary Ellen Reed.

Parents and grandparents in Easthampton, and in neighboring communities have conflicting opinions on the decision.

Some say it’s important for staff to be trained on how to deal with immigration authorities.

Others disagree.

“You have to take care of a country. If anybody loves children, I do. But I’m taking care of the children that are here. If there is a family that is not a good family, you have to have vetting done properly.”

Superintendent Nancy Follansbee told Western Mass News that they’ll share the resolution with all staff members during their August development days.

The school committee told Western Mass News they’ve been working on these issues for a long time, but this resolution is in response to federal immigration rhetoric.

Copyright 2017 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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