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New Sanctuary Schools Toolkit provides school districts with an opportunity to practice solidarity with immigrant families

November 11, 2019

At the beginning of 2019 school year, the Detroit Public Schools formally adopted a school sanctuary policy. The policy essentially means that Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) cannot come into Detroit Public Schools  to look for or to apprehend undocumented immigrants who may be parents or employees of the school district.

The formal Detroit Public School Sanctuary states in part:

School personnel must not allow any third party, including, but not limited to, officials from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Customs Border Protection (CBP), or federal immigration enforcement agencies or similar agencies access to a school site or District facility without a request submitted to the building site administrator and approved by the Office of the Superintendent and General Counsel.

Following this example, the group GR Rapid Response to ICE, has created a toolkit for those wanting to adopt similar policies in school districts in the Greater Grand Rapids area. 

The toolkit is designed for parents and other stakeholders in the community who want to take the initiative to get the school district where their children attend or where they live, to adopt a sanctuary school policy to: 1) take concrete action to support immigrant families who live in constant fear of government entities like ICE wanting to do them harm, and 2) to send a message ICE officials and other law enforcement agencies who collaborate with ICE in order to do harm to immigrant families.

The GR Rapid Response to ICE toolkit consists of ideas for parents and other community members, legal information, examples of what other school districts have done, what it means to be a sanctuary school and what else people can do when they encounter ICE agents in their community.

Here is a link to the Spanish version of the toolkit. You can access the toolkit here, but if you have questions for GR Rapid Response to ICE, message them on Facebook at Also, please let GR Rapid Response to ICE know if you have begun a campaign in your school district.

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