Southern Berkshire District embraces ‘sanctuary’ policy

Undermountain Elementary School

SHEFFIELD — The Southern Berkshire School Committee has adopted a new policy resolution to protect the rights of undocumented students and families in the district and develop an official protocol for dealing with agents of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office seeking entry into the school building.

The policy resolution was presented to the committee on March 9 during its monthly school committee meeting by committee member Fran Lartigue.

“We don’t want students to feel like school is anything other than the most protected, best and safest place for them to be regardless of their status,” Lartigue explained.

Lartigue stated that Southern Berkshire’s resolution is based on a similar resolution recently drafted and adopted by the Amherst School Committee.

The resolution, titled “Rights of Undocumented Students and Protocol for I.C.E. Access to Schools” states that the “emotionally safe environment” of the school would be compromised by I.C.E employees being present in the building in the event that they come to any one of the district’s buildings to remove a student or obtain information regarding their family members.

For more on this story, pick up this week’s edition of the Berkshire Record on a newsstand near you.

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