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NUSD-NPD Summit: Immigration Information Night

Post Date:03/21/2017 11:02 AM

The Novato Unified School District and the Novato Police Department are co-hosting a “NUSD-NPD Summit:  Immigration Information Night” on April 17, 2017, to answer questions about law enforcement and safe schools.  The evening will include a panel discussion with Marin County Sheriff Bob Doyle, Marin County Superintendent of Schools Mary Jane Burke, Novato Police Chief Adam McGill and Novato Unified School District’s Superintendent Jim Hogeboom.

NUSD and NPD have come together due to the increased uncertainty within our community over the past couple of months. For many, the rights of students and families and the role of local law enforcement with regard to immigration is not well known.  The Novato Unified School District in collaboration with the Novato Police Department want to ensure the safety of all our students and families. 

On December 20, 2016, the Novato Unified School Board (NUSD) passed Resolution 19-2016-2017 “Commitment to the Education of All Students and Making All Campuses a Safe Zone for Students and Families Threatened by Immigration Enforcement.”  What does this mean? 

  • All students have the right to attend school regardless of their immigration status or the status of their family members and that district staff will not inquire about a student’s immigration status. 
  • NUSD will protect all students equally and consider all student information private according to FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
  • The Board declares its commitment that every District school site be a safe and welcoming place for all students and their families.

“The Novato Unified School District welcomes all students, and we do not care about their immigration status.  California law directs us to serve and support every student to the best of our ability, and our responsibility is to provide a safe, caring and friendly environment in which to learn,” stated Jim Hogeboom, NUSD Superintendent.

Novato Police Chief Adam McGill has clarified the position of the Novato Police Department (NPD) and is committed to keeping our students and families safe. Key points include:

  • The Novato Police Department does not enforce federal immigration laws. Exceptions would include if an individual is suspected of a violent crime that jeopardizes public safety or involves a warrant or court order
  • The NPD is prohibited by policy from inquiring about anyone’s immigration status. 
  • Any assistance request from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to the NPD for any purpose must first be approved by the police chief.
  • The NPD does not participate in any Immigration “Sweeps”. 
  • ICE agents are federal agents and have authority anywhere in the United States. NPD cannot prevent ICE from taking action in Novato.
  • In emergency circumstances, where life and safety is threatened, NPD will assist ICE or any other law enforcement agency.

“There is a special concern in immigrant communities where many people fear that cooperating with the police may lead to scrutiny and even deportation.  This is why we have a policy prohibiting the Novato Police Department from enforcing immigration laws,” said Chief McGill. “We have invested considerable time and resources to build trust and cooperation within our community, Novato is a safer place when our community trusts our police department. including immigrant communities.  We know that when people step forward because they trust their local police, communities are safer.  If people are afraid to have contact with us they will not report crime, serve as witnesses, or tell us what is happening in their neighborhoods.  Without an engaged community, investigating crime becomes more difficult and crime levels could rise.  Together, we must be true partners in the public safety of our City which in turn makes us all safer.”

The “NUSD-NPD Summit:  Immigration Information Night” will be held at the Hill Education Center in the Multi-Use Room beginning with a complimentary dinner at 5:30 pm and the discussion at 6 pm.  Child care and interpretation will be available. 

Jim Hogeboom
Superintendent
Novato Unified School District 
Adam McGill
Chief of Police
Novato Police Department 

 

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