Welcoming Schools, Regardless of Immigration Status
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A Safe Place to Learn:
A Message from Superintendent Jack Smith
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is committed to ensuring that all students feel safe and welcome in our schools, regardless of immigration status.
In recent weeks, parents and students have asked what steps MCPS is taking to ensure a welcoming learning environment, particularly in light of national conversations on immigration, as well as reports of increased deportation efforts by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
We do not intend to cause unnecessary alarm in our school communities, but we want our families and students to know that we are working with other Montgomery County agencies and community organizations to prepare for any scenario.
Here are some key points to remember:
MCPS has received no indication that there have been or will be immigration enforcement actions in schools or on school property. We are closely monitoring the situation, but it is our understanding that, under current federal policy, ICE treats schools as sensitive areas where arrests, interviews, searches or surveillance activities will not generally occur.
The U.S. Constitution prohibits schools from denying access to public education based on immigration status. The U.S. Supreme Court made this clear in a landmark 1982 ruling that is still valid today.
MCPS will not take any action that may discourage participation or exclude students based on immigration status. Our schools do not require students or their families to provide any information about their immigration status, and MCPS staff are not required to report undocumented students to ICE. Similarly, Montgomery County has made clear that the police department plays no role in enforcing federal immigration law.
[Read the Superintendent’s Memorandum to MCPS Principals Providing Updated Guidance Regarding Immigration Enforcement]
MCPS does not tolerate any harassment, bullying or intimidation based on immigration status or for any other reason. If a student believes that they are being bullied or harassed, they should contact any staff member who will assist them and help them in completing the Bullying, Harassment, or Intimidation Reporting Form.
As a reminder, it is always important to be prepared for family crisis situations, and we encourage parents and guardians to talk to your children, in an age-appropriate manner, about what to do in the event of an emergency. It is also critical to complete MCPS Form 565-1, Student Emergency Information (available in multiple languages) and update it to ensure the information is current.
We strongly encourage students to continue to come to school; to participate in sports and other activities that excite them, challenge them and build their skills; and to volunteer in their communities without fear.
MCPS will continue to do everything within its power to protect students and ensure that all students receive a world-class education.
Read the Board of Education’s Message on Safe and Welcoming Schools for All Students
U.S. Department of Education Safe Spaces Fact Sheet
Additional information and resources on this topic can be found on the following websites: