In an effort to protect students that are undocumented and ease fears of others, the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) launched a 'Safe Haven' campaign Tuesday morning at Luther Burbank High School.
"This is a district for all students and all students are welcome," SCUSD Superintendent José Banda said.
School officials, community leaders and politicians spoke during a press conference to sign a pledge, vowing to protect all students despite immigration status.
Ninth grader, Felix Lopez said he is happy his school is a safe haven but he is still worried about what will happen to his friends and family after the bell rings.
"Either I stay here or I go with them. I don't think it's fair that they are making kids choose between their education and their family," Lopez said.
In a statement to media the SCUSD wrote:
"Announcement of Safe Haven campaign to inform students and families of their rights and ensure every school promotes an inclusive learning environment. SCUSD is the model district in the state for safe haven policy for undocumented students. As part of its new campaign, the SCUSD will make its school sites open to legal professionals, hang up colorful banners and lawn signs that say “Safe Haven: All students welcome” at all schools, distribute tens of thousands of ‘know your rights’ and safe haven pledge cards to students, parents and teachers in the district, and upload all materials to its safe haven webpage. Local elected officials will sign an oversized pledge card to set example for rest of community to support campaign and promote inclusion."
Liz Villanueva is a teacher at Luther Burbank High School. She said several of her students are scared of deportation and the current administration. During this school year, Villanueva said she has created a club from DACA students to feel safe and is happy the district is on board.
"We need to empower our students so they know how to protect themselves," Villanueva said.