RECOGNITION OF A SAFE HAVEN NETWORK OF SCHOOLS —–

Whereas, Hiawatha Academies equity vision is that “To honor the humanity of all people, we actively disrupt systemic inequity in pursuit of an equitable world”;

Whereas, Hiawatha Academies is committed to the success of all students irrespective of their immigration status, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, ability, sex and gender identity, socioeconomic status or beliefs;

Whereas, at Hiawatha Academies we value the great diversity of our student body and surrounding communities;

Whereas, our core values state we put children at the center of everything we do, we take bold thought and action, we choose optimism, we push ourselves to improve and we are stronger together;

Whereas, The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America recognizes every individual’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;

Whereas, The United States of America was built by diverse peoples, both native and immigrant alike;

Whereas, Currently, Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) 2011 policy states that ICE will not conduct immigration enforcement activity at any sensitive location, which includes a school, without permission by specific federal law enforcement officials unless exigent circumstances exist;

Whereas, Hiawatha Academies vision states “we will permanently disrupt educational inequity by ensuring a great school for EVERY child”;

Whereas, Hiawatha Academies has been recognized for its work to close the opportunity gap as by the Minnesota Department of Education by designating Hiawatha Academies’ schools as celebration schools over the course of the past several years;

belongWhereas, Minnesota has historically been a state that has welcomed refugees and immigrants as valuable assets to the community;

Whereas, Hiawatha Academies promises a path to and through college for all students, including communities most affected by the opportunity gap in south Minneapolis and strive for diversity among the community to prepare scholars for success in a racially diverse world;

Whereas, Children are growing up today in a global world where they will daily encounter multiple languages, cultures, and ways of being. To prepare scholars for work and life in the 21st century, we must provide an inclusive education in which all children see themselves and their experiences reflected in the classroom, and they find windows into the lives of others;

Whereas, Hiawatha Academies serves 98% students of color, 90% eligible for free / reduced price lunch, 89% speak a language other than English at home, 9% receive special education services, and 65% receive English language services;

Whereas, The national presidential election has resulted in hundreds of students and families at Hiawatha Academies expressing fear, sadness and concerns for student safety, heightened because of intolerant rhetoric made over the course of the 2016 presidential race;

Whereas, Youth and families across the network are at risk or have already experienced increased levels of hate speech based on their ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation since the election; now, therefore, be it,

Resolved, that the board and senior leadership team of the network supports the creation of a safe haven school network. This status shall include:

  • Promoting tolerance and acceptance, and rejecting hate speech;
  • The network’s employees, contractors, volunteers and representatives shall require any ICE personnel wishing to enter any network property to first notify the Executive Director in advance of such entry and provide proper written authority to enter network property;

Whereas, The Minnesota Human Rights Act (Minn. Statutes, Chapter 363A), the state’s comprehensive civil rights law, declares that certain types of differential treatment are unfair, discriminatory practices and against the law. The Act prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and real property, public accommodations, public services, education, credit services and business, specifically prohibiting discrimination in education on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, or disability;

Whereas, Minneapolis has declared it will continue to be a sanctuary city under the City Code of Ordinance, Title 2, Chapter 19;

  • Unless otherwise required by law, restricting the sharing of student files that may be used to ascertain the legal status of students;
  • Designating Hiawatha Academies’ school campuses, facilities, and equipment as safe havens for students, families and the community;
  • Allocating adequate resources necessary to support equity, and the values of a multicultural society;
  • Hosting community healing forums that provide spaces for families, staff, and community members to celebrate strengths and gather information on human and legal rights;
  • Offering focused professional development opportunities on equity for all levels of staff;
  • Endorsing a set of unifying activities determined by the school site;
  • Developing and implementing a plan, in consultation with stakeholder groups, to fulfill the requirements outlined within this resolution and report back to the Board of Directors.

Resolved further, That Hiawatha Academies work closely with the City, County and other state and local municipalities and community organizations to ensure our students and families are offered a protected space;

Resolved further, That the Hiawatha Academies board reaffirm the authority of the Executive Director and campus leaders to protect the data and identities of any student, family member, or school employee who may be adversely affected by any future policies or executive action that results in the collection of any personally identifiable information to the fullest extent provided by the law; and, be it finally

Resolved further, that the Hiawatha Academies network reaffirms the networks’ unequivocal commitment to ensuring a safe educational environment for all students, serving as a safe haven school network for scholars and families threatened by immigration enforcement or discrimination, to the fullest extent provided by the law.

One thought on “Recognition of a safe haven network of schools

  1. Valerie Schultz

    Thank you, thank you for your courageous work. For the message you give to all children that “everyone counts”! Thank you also for addressing this directly and teaching the students that we must stand up for what is right and treat each other justly. You are modeling tolerance and compassion for the next generation.