Suit: Boston Public Schools sharing student info with ICE
PUBLISHED: June 22, 2018 at 12:00 am | UPDATED: November 17, 2018 at 12:00 am
A coalition of students’ rights groups and lawyers is suing Superintendent Tommy Chang and Boston Public Schools for information on what it claims is the district’s “disturbing practice” of sharing student information with federal immigration officials.
The information exchange has become a “school-to-deportation pipeline,” the suit claims. The BPS has previously denied the practice.
The suit, filed by Boston law firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius, is seeking to find out how often BPS shares student information with federal authorities. Lawyers say an East Boston High School student was deported after a report was shared by Boston School Police with ICE through the Boston Regional Intelligence Center.
The report was on an incident in which “two students attempted to start a fight but were unsuccessful,” the lawyers say.
“The issue of public schools’ cooperation with law enforcement — already of intense public importance — has taken on heightened urgency for immigrant families since 2017,” the suit says. “As federal deportation efforts intensify, the question of how and under what circumstances public schools are providing information to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) has become even more crucial.”
Chang has said in the past BPS would not share student information. Under federal law, schools aren’t allowed to share the immigration status of students.
“Neither the City of Boston nor Boston Public Schools have been served with the lawsuit,” said Dan O’Brien, BPS spokesman. “Boston Public Schools will review the lawsuit once it is received. We are not commenting further on this matter today.”
The groups say they have made several attempts since last December to obtain records on how often BPS shares student information with BRIC and that Massachusetts Supervisor of Records has already ordered BPS to disclose the information.
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