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ICE agents not allowed in Kansas City Public Schools without a warrant

ICE: Policy prohibits us from entering schools
Posted at 1:05 PM, Mar 23, 2017

During Wednesday night’s school board meeting, Kansas City Public School board members unanimously voted to pass the Safe and Welcoming Schools resolution, which disallows U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents from pulling a student out of class without a warrant.

"We had an elementary kid break down crying because they were concerned that they would come home and their parents weren't going to be there,” said Superintendent Dr. Mark Bedell.

The Kansas City, Kansas School District passed a similar resolution a few weeks ago.

In the KCK School District, 43 percent of students speak a language other than English at home. In the Kansas City School District it is 28 percent.

"Unless there is a warrant, which in many cases is not the case, no, the school system will not participate in any other those activities,” said Bedell.

The Kansas City School District is holding community meetings to help inform people of their rights. They are holding a meeting this Saturday at 10 a.m. at Whittier Elementary School. The meeting will be in Spanish with English translators on site. Anyone is welcome to join.

An undocumented immigrant mother, who wishes to protect her identity, said a few weeks ago ICE agents came to her door and detained her.

She claims they also went to Briarwood Elementary School in Shawnee for her son.

"When he got to the office there was an officer there. The principal told him that he was not going to go on the bus, that the officer was going to take him and his classmates saw him so he began to cry,” the mother said.

ICE disputes the mother’s claim, stating their sensitive locations policy prohibits them from entering schools. It reads:

The policies provide that enforcement actions at or focused on sensitive locations such as schools, places of worship, and hospitals should generally be avoided, and that such actions may only take place when (a) prior approval is obtained from an appropriate supervisory official, or (b) there are exigent circumstances necessitating immediate action without supervisor approval.  

41 Action News also reached out to the Shawnee Mission School District regarding this mother’s child. They said police came to pick the boy up after school and put him in protective custody because his parents were in ICE detention, and said they did everything they could to not upset the boy.

 

The boy’s mother said the incident has taken an emotional toll on her son.

"When I picked him up from the social worker he cried and he told me he didn’t want to go back to school,” the mother said. "He said that he was afraid. He was afraid that the officers would pick him up again. He was afraid that his classmates would ask him what was happening."

A spokesperson with the Shawnee Mission School District said the district is not considering banning ICE from pulling students out of class without a warrant.

 

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