State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson will join California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and other education experts in a panel discussion on how to help students and parents who are anxious and fearful about federal immigration policies at a “Beyond Safe Havens” conference.
Torlakson is inviting the public to watch the live stream of the panel discussion at http://cde-ca.videossc.com at 9 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 22.
“When I visit schools all over our great state, students and their families tell me they are worried about troubling changes in federal immigration policies,” Torlakson said. “It’s critical that educators address these fears. I am hosting this conference to talk about what we can do to welcome all students, regardless of immigration status, and help them succeed.”
Torlakson said he looked forward to learning practical ideas about steps districts can take to assist students, including when a family member is detained or deported. He also said educators should continue to let all of our 6.2 million public school students know that California celebrates diversity.
“In California, our diversity is our strength. It makes our economy powerful. It makes our culture rich, fascinating, and dynamic,” Torlakson said.
Panelist and student Fatima Avelica will speak as someone directly affected by the immigration system, and who is also working to empower parents and students. Since witnessing the detention of her father, Romulo Avelica, Fatima has become a nationally recognized spokesperson and advocate for American immigrant families.
For more information about other panel members, view the conference agenda.
After the presidential election, Torlakson called on districts throughout the state to declare themselves “Safe Havens” to welcome all students and to inform the public about immigration laws. To date, 116 districts have adopted these resolutions, serving 2.7 million total students. In April 2017, the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California conducted a statewide poll on education topics and asked voters if their local school district should take such action. Two out of three Californians (65 percent) agreed, and the response reached 74 percent approval for parents with children in public schools.
For more information, please visit our Safe Havens Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/eo/in/safehavens.asp.