Response to Boston Schools Superintendent Resignation

Response to Boston Schools Superintendent Resignation
Last week, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice and our allies filed a groundbreaking suit against the City of Boston, Boston Public Schools and its Superintendent, and the Boston Police Department to obtain public records regarding information sharing with federal immigration authorities.

In December 2017, we submitted our initial public records request to Boston Public Schools, and we have waited for information for more than six months. Justice delayed is justice denied. 

In response to our request, Attorney Alissa Ocasio responded on behalf of the City of Boston stating that the city would not comply with the request. That is why the City of Boston is named as the first defendant in our public records complaint.

In the course of this critically important work, we have never asserted that the power to address community concerns and to disclose public records rests solely with the Superintendent. To be clear, we asked for public records, not an ouster. 

The public is entitled to understand how a school incident report of an “unsuccessful fight” ended up being used as evidence in deportation proceedings against a high school student. Over 31% of Boston Public School students are English language learners. For 48% of Boston Public School students, English is not their first language. Local entanglement with federal immigration officials violates the public trust and erodes community confidence. 

We never asserted that the Superintendent personally proffered these records to ICE. It is the City of Boston’s policies and practices that are at issue. 

The city, the police department, and the school district have failed to explain how or why these records were shared in the first place. They have also refused to provide public records that could shed light into this concerning practice and that would be helpful to understand its scope. 

We stand ready to protect all the children and families in our community. The city, police department, and school district will answer to the court.