For Immediate Release
January 17, 2017
Contact: Billy Linville
All Atlanta Public School Students are Safe and Welcome
Jason Esteves: Commitment to Diversity is Bedrock Value
As recent events across America have stirred up worry and alarm among certain populations in Atlanta, including immigrant families, the Board of Education last week unanimously passed a resolution formerly expressing to every public school student that they are safe and welcome from threat, harm or intimidation.
“Unfortunately, many students are living in an environment of fear, in which they are subjected to discrimination and harassment because of their ethnicity, immigration status, citizenship or other reasons that may make them different. I want our kids to know they are protected and valued and that APS is a welcoming place for everyone,” said Board of Education member Jason Esteves.
In the State of Georgia, any resident who has attained the age of six years and is under the age of twenty-one years is entitled to attend public school in the school district where he or she resides. Furthermore, in the United States, a free and adequate public education is a right owed to every school-aged child, regardless of their family’s immigration status.
Noting Atlanta’s historical role in the global fight for social justice, human rights and civil rights, the Board’s resolution stressed its commitment to diversity in every form as a bedrock value of the public school district and the entire Atlanta community.
“Our diversity is our strength. Whether you are black, white, Latino, gay or straight, we are a better school district, a better community, and a better country when we stand together as one. So it is important for the Board to express this core value and send an unwavering message to every student, parent, teacher, and resident,” said Board Chair, Courtney English.
It is the policy of the Atlanta Board of Education that all students are entitled to equal educational opportunities regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, citizenship, ethnic or national origin, age, disability, medical status, military status, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, ancestry or any legal protected status.
Esteves noted that APS will continue to educate and serve all eligible students without regard to their immigration status.
GALEO NOTE: Jason Esteves is also Vice Chair of GALEO.