On DACA, Marin County public schools take sides in a political fight

With DACA going before Congress, Marin County public schools are abandoning any pretense of political neutrality and are siding with illegal immigration.

Marin County DACA
Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin County

Public schools are supposed to be non-partisan. All residents pay taxes towards these schools and the theory is that in return for this money, the schools teach reading, writing, arithmetic, and other core subjects in a politically neutral manner.

Of course, we all know that this theoretical understanding is a lie. In Blue Counties, science is taught through a filter of anthropogenic climate change; history is taught through a Howard Zinn-esque filter of American hatred; and English, social studies, and other “soft” liberal arts classes aggressively advance a social justice world view.

All of this indoctrination, however, is covert. It’s advanced as pure knowledge that just coincidentally happens to align with Progressive paradigms. With that in mind, school districts — or, at least, school districts in Marin — have stopped short of pitching themselves headlong into a truly partisan political issue. For example, teachers and schools have been mindful to avoid explicitly endorsing a particular candidate.

This simulacrum of non-partisan education in Marin changed with President Trump’s announcement that he was undoing Obama’s unconstitutional DACA power grab and returning it to Congress, where it properly belongs. Reversing a manifestly unconstitutional executive order (“the way our system works, the president doesn’t have the authority to simply ignore Congress and say, we’re not going to enforce the laws that you’ve passed”), was too much for the hard Leftists who populate Marin’s district offices.

So it was that the Tamalpais Union High School District made the following official announcement:

Dear TUHSD Community,

In response to the decision by our federal government to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the County Superintendent Mary Jane Burke of the Marin County Office of Education sent out the communication embedded below. We, as a District, want to ensure our community members that we will continue to support and educate all of our students, regardless of immigration status, country of origin, religion, ethnicity, gender identity, learning status, socioeconomic status, or sexual orientation.

The President’s action last week to roll back the DACA program will directly impact a number of our students and staff. Thank you in advance for your sensitivity and support for these individuals and families who may now be experiencing heightened fear, insecurity and mistrust as they try to navigate what the future may bring. During this difficult time, we must be extra aware of the challenges those affected by the decision to end the DACA program may be going through and offer our assistance as needed.

The Marin County Office of Education has a web page dedicated to Immigrant Students and Families and DACA information with links and resources that you may find useful.

The letter below summarizes well the views of the Tamalpais Union High School District administration and ends with the following:

One thing is certain for our community. No matter the situation, our schools will not sit on the sidelines. Our doors are open to ALL students and their families. We believe that the future of ALL depends on our future leaders. May we offer our youngest generations the power to learn, to think independently and to accept one another knowing that we ALL have something great to offer the world.

Please read the letter below and thank you in advance for supporting ALL of our students!

Thank you,
Tamalpais Union High School District

Off the Sidelines to Secure a Future for ALL

September 8, 2017

A message from Mary Jane Burke, Marin County Superintendent of Schools, Michael Watenpaugh, San Rafael City Schools Superintendent, Jim Hogeboom, Novato Unified School District Superintendent, David Yoshihara, Tamalpais Union High School District Superintendent, Paul Johnson, Mill Valley School District Superintendent, Brett Geithman, Larkspur Corte Madera School District Superintendent, & John Carroll, Superintendent of Bolinas-Stinson and Lagunitas School Districts


In the aftermath of the President’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, our community is fraught with uncertainty and anxiety. This is a call to action…no longer can we sit on the sidelines and watch our community be torn apart by divisive actions. Our friends, neighbors and colleagues face an unknown future in a country that they consider to be their home. California leads the nation with the most DACA approved community members at over 220,000. In Marin County, it is estimated that number is around 2,000.

For many impacted by this decision, their earliest memories are that of living in the United States. They attend our schools, serve in our military, contribute to our workforce and help our communities thrive. How could we turn them away? Where do they belong if not in our country of immigrants?

Our society is better served by the diverse cultures, backgrounds, beliefs and creeds of all who live here. When we deprive certain liberties and benefits to those who contribute in positive, beneficial ways we are only securing a lesser fate for ourselves. Jane Addams, a revolutionary activist for her time, spoke the truth in saying, “the good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.”

The rhetoric surrounding this issue of “who belongs” has been around for centuries. America became a beacon of hope for thousands who sought better opportunities and wanted their children to have a successful future. DACA enabled dreams to be fulfilled…and our schools, economy and society has benefitted.

One thing is certain for our community. No matter the situation, our schools will not sit on the sidelines. Our doors are open to ALL students and their families. We believe that the future of ALL depends on our future leaders. May we offer our youngest generations the power to learn, to think independently and to accept one another knowing that we ALL have something great to offer the world.

Resources for immigrant student and families

Llamado a la acción para asegurar un futuro para TODOS

8 de septiembre, 2017

Un mensaje de Mary Jane Burke, Superintendente de Escuelas del Condado de Marin, Michael Watenpaugh, Superintendente de Escuelas de la Ciudad de San Rafael, y Jim Hogeboom, Superintendente del Distrito Escolar Unificado de Novato


Después de la decisión del Presidente de poner fin al Programa de Acción Diferida para los Llegados en la Infancia (DACA), nuestra comunidad está plagada de incertidumbre y ansiedad. Este es un llamado a la acción… ya no podemos sentarnos al margen y ver nuestra comunidad ser desgarrada por acciones divisivas. Nuestros amigos, vecinos y colegas se enfrentan a un futuro desconocido en un país al que consideran su hogar. California lidera la nación con la mayor cantidad de miembros de la comunidad aprobados por DACA en más de 220.000. En el Condado de Marin, se estima que el número es de alrededor de 2.000.

Para muchos afectados por esta decisión, sus primeros recuerdos son el de vivir en los Estados Unidos. Asisten a nuestras escuelas, sirven en nuestras fuerzas armadas, contribuyen a nuestra fuerza de trabajo y ayudan a nuestras comunidades a prosperar. ¿Cómo podríamos rechazarlos? ¿Dónde pertenecen si no a nuestro país de inmigrantes?

Nuestra sociedad es mejor servida por las diversas culturas, antecedentes, creencias y credos de todos los que viven aquí. Cuando privamos de ciertas libertades y beneficios a aquellos que contribuyen de manera positiva y beneficiosa, estamos asegurando un destino menor para nosotros mismos. Jane Addams, una activista revolucionaria de su tiempo, dijo la verdad expresando: “El bien que nos aseguramos es precario e incierto hasta que es asegurado para todos nosotros e incorporado a nuestra vida común”.

La retórica que rodea este tema de “quién pertenece” ha existido por siglos. América se convirtió en un faro de esperanza para miles de personas que buscaban mejores oportunidades y querían que sus hijos tuvieran un futuro exitoso. DACA permitió que se cumplieran los sueños… y nuestras escuelas, economía y sociedad se han beneficiado.

Una cosa es cierta para nuestra comunidad. No importa la situación, nuestras escuelas no se sientan al margen. Nuestras puertas están abiertas a TODOS los estudiantes y sus familias. Creemos que el futuro de TODOS depende de nuestros futuros líderes. Que podamos ofrecer a nuestras generaciones más jóvenes el poder de aprender, de pensar independientemente y de aceptarse unos a otros sabiendo que TODOS tienen algo grande que ofrecer al mundo.

Resources for immigrant students and families

Call me weirdly old-fashioned, but I prefer my public school to stay out of the political fray. Moreover, when it does get involved, it would be infinitely preferable if it would take a constitutional, legal stance, rather than fall prey to the Left’s animus for law, order, and the Constitution.