The New York City Department of Education (“DOE”) services a diverse population of students, parents and families. The DOE also employs staff members with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. In recognition of that multi-faceted diversity, the DOE shares a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. Diversity is about all of us. Inclusion is about all of us. At the DOE, we strive to create a diverse and inclusive environment that values the experience, perspective, and contributions of all employees, applicants, students, and families. At the DOE, respect for diverse backgrounds and ideas is crucial to academic excellence. As a result, the DOE seeks to foster an inclusive environment where the individual differences among us are understood, respected, and recognized as a source of strength that enriches the agency. In order to further the goals of diversity and inclusion, the DOE will engage in a series of diversity initiatives to attract, retain, and develop the best talent for our agency. Attracting, retaining, and developing this talent are all crucial to the DOE’s mission: putting children first and striving for excellence in education. On an annual basis, the DOE will issue a Diversity and Inclusion Plan detailing the diversity initiatives undertaken pursuant to this Policy and Education Law § 2590 h(51). In consideration of the diverse population served by the DOE, this Policy, in conjunction with the Diversity and Inclusion Plan, promotes the recruitment and retention of a workforce from different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives to complement the backgrounds, experiences and perspectives of DOE students, parents and families at the city district, community district and school level. By fostering the goals of diversity and inclusion, the DOE will be better equipped to serve all students, families and parents at the city district, community district and school level. The DOE recognizes the importance of diversity in procurement. As a result, the DOE engages in outreach initiatives to enhance the abilities of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises to compete and meaningfully participate in the DOE procurement process. The DOE’s annual diversity and inclusion plan will detail the outreach initiatives undertaken pursuant to this policy and Education Law § 2590 h(51). The DOE’s commitment to diversity is reinforced by workplace policies, including the DOE’s Non-Discrimination Policy – Chancellor’s Regulation A-830. The DOE reaffirms its commitment to the principles of equal employment opportunity for all employees and applicants. As noted in the Non-Discrimination Policy, it is the policy of the DOE to provide equal employment opportunities without regard to actual or perceived race, color, religion, creed, ethnicity, national origin, alienage, citizenship status, age, marital status, partnership status, disability, sexual orientation, gender (sex), military status, unemployment status, prior record of arrest or conviction (except as permitted by law), predisposing genetic characteristics, or status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual offenses or stalking, and to maintain an environment free of harassment on any of the above-noted grounds, including sexual harassment or retaliation. It is also the policy of the DOE to provide equal educational opportunities without regard to actual or perceived race, color, religion, creed, ethnicity, national origin, alienage, citizenship status, disability, sexual orientation, gender (sex) or weight, and to maintain an environment free of harassment on any of the above-noted grounds, including sexual harassment or retaliation. The DOE is committed to establishing both a workplace and school environment free of discrimination. As such, it is DOE policy to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws pertaining to discrimination and equal employment opportunity. Approved by the Panel for Educational Policy on September 14, 2011. Updated on December 18, 2014.
SUPPORTING ALL OF OUR STUDENTS
May 15, 2017
Dear Students and Families,
We are writing with an update to our letters from January 30, 2017 and March 21, 2017, to reassure you that all students, regardless of immigration status, are welcome in NYC public schools. We will do everything in our power to protect students, staff and families.
We also want to make you aware of an incident that took place on May 11, 2017. Two individuals who stated they were federal agents from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services went to P.S. 58 in Queens and inquired about a 4th-grade student. They were not given access to any students. We are committed to protecting the right of every student in New York City who attends public school. The DOE is working with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and the NYPD to look into this concerning incident.
As outlined in the DOE’s protocol, Federal agents, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), will not be permitted to enter schools, except when absolutely required by law. Additionally, the DOE does not track immigration status of students or family members, and will not release student information unless absolutely required to by law.
If you have questions or need resources, we are hosting Know Your Rights workshops for students, parents and community members, which are continuing to take place across the City. The workshops provide information on the rights of immigrant New Yorkers, City services that are available, safety planning and fraud prevention. The workshops connect participants to legal services through ActionNYC and we will be increasing the number of workshops available in the coming weeks.
We want to remind you that all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, can continue to access City services. If you have any questions, call 311 or visit http://schools.nyc.gov/supportingallstudentsto learn more about the DOE's immigration protocol, and to access resources to support you and your family.
Public schools are at the center of our democracy and we will continue to work together to protect all students and families and fulfill our mission of delivering a high-quality education to all New York City students. That includes providing schools with guidance on how to facilitate discussions with staff and students that promote respectful conversations about diversity and inclusivity.
We are a city of immigrants, and we stand strongly next to each one of you in protecting the rights of students and all New Yorkers.
Carmen Fariña Nisha Agarwal Chancellor Commissioner NYC Department of Education Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs