Fears among immigrant families and students in San Benito have been allayed to a large extent as the high school district here has been declared a safe haven. This was a decision taken by the board members of the school district. The resolution has certain implications. It means that the board or the district will promote tolerance and elevate factors like kindness and inclusiveness for students who come from different communities or religious beliefs as well as even if they are of immigration status.

This resolution has been taken to allay fears among families and students who might feel threatened by the immigrant policy issues by the administration of Donald Trump. The agenda item was introduced by Shawn Tennebaum who is the interim superintendent. He stated that this topic is an important one in the state. Such a resolution needs to be taken across the state and hence, school districts adopting such a stance are the first step towards achieving the right environment for all. For instance, the State Superintendent of Public Instructions, Tom Torlakson, stated that all schools need to take a stance to ensure that they are safe havens for immigrant families and their children. This comes at a time when the presidential election has led to disruptive policies in these areas. There have also been reports that K-12 students have been harassed on the basis of their ethnic identities, immigration status and even on religious grounds. Tennebaum stated that there is strength in numbers and students need to be protected, even if the federal funds that would come towards supporting such policies might be uncertain till date. It is hoped that this district’s decisions will soon be replicated in other parts of California as well.

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