Immigration authorities tried to get student records at Una Elementary School

Ice in Tennessee Generic

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Metro Nashville Public Schools said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents tried getting student records from Una Elementary School in Antioch, but the agency says that seems unlikely.

According to a Metro Nashville Public Schools statement, the district says federal immigration agents “recently” visited the school to request records.

The statement says the school refused as district policy limits the release of confidential student records. The statement doesn’t provide further detail on what records it says were requested.

ICE spokesman Bryan Cox reportedly said he’s investigating the report, but he’s doubtful agents would’ve tried enforcing immigration policy on school grounds. He says “we don’t do any immigration enforcement at schools,” adding that he can’t imagine what records would be needed from a school, according to the Associated Press.

Metro Schools released a statement to News 2, which reads:

Immigration officials recently visited an MNPS school, Una Elementary, to request student records, but school officials did not release them.

Under Policy 6.600, all MNPS employees, contractors, and volunteers are respectful of the privacy of students and families. Confidential student records and information are not to be released. If anyone other than the student’s parent, guardian or other person the parent has authorized calls the school or comes to the school requesting access to a student, student records, or information about a student, only an authorized official (the principal) has authority to determine whether the student information can be released.

If the person requesting the information produces a document that appears to be a legal document that a principal has any question about, such as a warrant or other court order, MNPS principals are instructed to call their superiors for support and review.

It is a principal’s responsibility to share and explain the practical application of the policy to the school’s staff, including teachers and front office personnel, so they can help assure a safe and welcoming environment conducive to learning.

Cultural center Conexión Américas said it is heartened to see Metro Schools take action to proactively protect immigrant students and their families, adding federal immigration enforcement has no place in Nashville schools nor any school in Tennessee.

It added its team of educators will work with our partners to uphold the Supreme Court’s Plyler v. Doe ruling, which declares that states cannot constitutionally deny students a free public education on account of their immigration status.

News 2 is digging deeper into ICE activity in Tennessee, the dynamics involved and the debate that has followed. Click here to read more.

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