KIPP Los Angeles Leads the Way in Defending Students Against Trump

KIPP Los Angeles is an organization working in the under-resourced areas of Los Angeles to bring quality public charter schools to the community that prepare students for success in school, college, and life. The organization currently operates 13 schools in the south and east part of Los Angeles.

Before the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson declared that California schools will remain safe havens for students and parents in the aftermath of the presidential election last month, KIPP Los Angeles staked out its position with its Board passing the Safe Schools Resolution. KIPP Los Angeles passed this resolution on December 1, 2016.

KIPP resolved to protect the data of students, alumni, family members, and school employees who may be adversely affected by any future policies or executive actions that result in the collection of any personally identifiable information to the extent that the law allows. In addition, KIPP schools affirmed its support for those seeking education and declared that every KIPP LA campus be a safe place for students and families. KIPP LA also declared that the school sites will be resource places for students and families, and with that, ties to community based and legal organizations will be enhanced to provide parents and students with the most up to date information about their rights.

Los Angeles Unified School Board President Steve Zimmer attended the KIPP Board meeting, where the Safe School Zone resolution was passed. The Los Angeles Board of Education approved a similar resolution on November 15, directing school staff to not allow federal immigration agents onto campuses unless their visit has been approved and protecting the information and identities of students, family members, and staff. Zimmer’s presence at the KIPP Board meeting shows how charter organizations and school boards can work effectively to protect students and keep the focus squarely on teaching and learning.

KIPP Los Angeles was able to get in front of the issue that has come crashing into our schools and communities with the election of Donald Trump. President-elect Trump has incited fear in communities with large immigrant populations, and as was previously written here on La Comadre, there have been repeated incidences of bullying against Latino students and other students of color.

Going forward, it is our hope that teachers, administrators, and staff at all of the public schools across the country focus on educating and protecting students so that schools live up to the safe zone and safe haven resolutions. Our students need leaders who will not tolerate bullying and mocking those who are differently abled. The schools can lead the way for the country to promote tolerance and understanding in these tough times.

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