PISCATAWAY, NJ – At its Jan. 26th regularly scheduled meeting, the Piscataway Township Board of Education unanimously adopted a resolution affirming the district’s commitment to educate all children, regardless of ethnicity, race or immigration status, and free from harassment or intimidation, for so long as they may reside in Piscataway.
“Piscataway is a district that is proud to celebrate its cultural, ethnic and religious diversity, and it is important that all of our students and families know that they are welcome, and safe, in our schools,” said board President, Bill Irwin.
According to a release from board officials, the resolution states that the board has “taken note of recent political rhetoric targeting undocumented residents and various immigrant and religious populations in our country, and upholds the rights of all public school students, and the district’s obligation to ensure student safety and to protect student confidentiality and private information.”
“What we are saying is the laws of this state protect students from bullying and we intend to enforce those laws,” board member, Isaac Peng said about the Policy Committee’s proposal for the resolution. “People should feel safe here and should not feel uncomfortable with some of the rhetoric going on, and if that rhetoric is encouraging anyone to behave badly we remind them that they would be doing so outside of the law.”
“Things have gone on over the past year or so which brought out into the open, feelings of stereotyping of certain groups, religious, ethnic , racist, etc., and we don’t like that,” said another board member, Ira Stern who mentioned how Piscataway’s diversity is a reason a lot of people like to live in the township. “We like to say that all people, whether they are immigrants, natives, or whether they are one ethnic group or another, or race or religion, should feel safe and welcomed here.”
In the resolution, the board “acknowledges the mission of law enforcement agencies charged with enforcing our Nation's immigration laws,” but makes clear that it “views its own role as assuring the education of all school-age children for so long as they may reside in Piscataway, not as an agent of law enforcement.”
“This resolution and the recent executive order do not change any current practices in the district,” noted Superintendent Teresa Rafferty. “New Jersey law mandates that we educate any student living in Piscataway. The Board of Education is affirming our belief in, and our commitment to, educating all children.”
Click here to read the Piscataway Board of Education’s Resolution Affirming Our Commitment to Educate All Children.
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