Resources for Immigrant Families
We live by our values at Tulsa Public Schools, and central to those is our belief in equity and our commitment to supporting, affirming, valuing, and loving - deeply - every single child and family that we serve. Based on the United States Supreme Court decision in Plyler v. Doe, all children have a constitutional right to have equal access to public education regardless of their immigration status or their parents’ status. As of June 2019, we understand that the federal government is still following guidance that designates schools as sensitive locations where immigration enforcement actions should not happen. Therefore, we do not anticipate that immigration enforcement actions would take place at our school buildings. However, in the event that federal immigration agents came to a school, they would not be permitted to take any action or obtain any information unless indisputably required by law and following an intensive internal legal review.
Every child in our care and every person on our team deserves to feel safe and welcomed in Tulsa Public Schools, and we will continue to support and protect our immigrant families. We are proud to stand alongside of all of our families and will continue to do all that we can to advocate on behalf of the children we serve.
Deborah A. Gist
- What impact does undocumented immigration status have on my child’s education?
- None! Children have a constitutional right to have equal access to education regardless of their immigration status or their parents’ status.
- Does Tulsa Public Schools ask for a child’s immigration status when he or she enrolls?
- No. Tulsa Public Schools enrolls students regardless of their immigration status and without discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin. Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982), established that the immigration status of a student is irrelevant to that student’s entitlement to an elementary and secondary public education.
- Would the school district ever share our students’ immigration status with the federal immigration officials?
- As mentioned above, we do not ask for students’ immigration status when they enroll. However, if we became aware of a student’s lack of immigration status, we would not share that information with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- What does Tulsa Public Schools do to ensure that no student or family is discriminated against or harassed because of their race, ethnicity, religion or national origin?
- Equity is one of our core values. We have policies in place that prohibit discrimination or harassment of our students, families or employees on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, national origin and many other protected classes. View our policies on discrimination and harassment.
- What should I do if I feel like I have been the victim of discrimination or harassment?
- Please report the behavior immediately to a supervisor, school leader or to the superintendent. Complaints and concerns can be filed using our TIPS reporting system at 918-746-6868. We take these complaints very seriously in order to assure that our schools continue to be safe spaces.
- What should I do if I want to understand my immigration rights?
- Only immigration attorneys can provide you with accurate advice about immigration status and how you can pursue any legal rights you might have. You can seek an immigration attorney from the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
- Will there be any immigration enforcement actions on school grounds?
- As of today, we believe that the federal government is still following guidance that designates schools as sensitive locations where immigration enforcement actions should not happen. For more details on sensitive locations, please review the Enforcement Actions at or Focused on Sensitive Locations document from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.