State Watch

Boston school superintendent resigns one day after lawsuit claims school system shared student immigration info with ICE


The superintendent of Boston Public Schools has resigned amid a lawsuit over allegations the district handed over student information to immigration law enforcement.

Superintendent Tommy Chang confirmed Friday to The Boston Globe that he was stepping down after three years with the district, but declined to say the reason for his resignation.

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh (D) said he was dissatisfied with Chang’s leadership, according to the Globe, saying the district needs “a long-term education leader with a proven record in management who can gain the confidence of the community on the strategic vision for the district.”{mosads}

Multiple civil rights groups sued the Boston Public Schools on Thursday after the school district declined repeatedly to say how often they provide student information to immigration authorities, according to The Associated Press.

The lawsuit accused the Boston system of having a “school to deportation pipeline.”

Chang denied that the school shared student information.

Federal law bars school systems from asking students about their immigration status, and Chang has maintained that the district would never share that information unless required by a court order, according to the Globe.

The groups, which includes the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, filed the lawsuit after a student was deported from East Boston High School. Federal deportation proceedings for the student included information from a school incident report about a confrontation the student had with a classmate.

The lawsuit alleges that school officials suggested without evidence that student was involved in a gang, and handed that information to law enforcement, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials.

The student, who came to the U.S. from El Salvador in 2014 and whose green card was pending at the time of his arrest, was in custody for nearly a year and a half before deportation, the lawsuit claims.

Federal authorities have pointed to the high school as a recruiting spot for the MS-13 gang.

The school repeatedly rejected requests from the groups in the lawsuit to provide more information about the Boston Public School’s sharing of information with ICE and other law enforcement, saying that they did not have the data available.


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