Orange County

Policy Allows Parents to Remove Children's Birth Information From School Records

Officials still need to see proof of a child's age, but they won't keep a copy of the documents

A new policy at an Orange County school district allows parents to remove documents from their children's school file that might reveal their immigration status.

As part of the district's new "don't ask, don't share" policy, officials at the Fullerton School District are allowing parents to sign an affidavit asking that their children's birth certificate not appear in their school record.

Officials say that, by law, they must still verify the age of students, but the affidavit allows parents more peace of mind.

"We still need to see the birth certificate or a document showing the age of the child," said district Superintendent Bob Pletka. "But they can sign an affidavit. We put that in our file, so we don't actually keep the copy (of the birth certificate)," he said.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement says that schools are already seen as "sensitive locations" where federal agents are not allowed except in extreme circumstances. Moreover, the agency says, it would need a court order to gather any immigration information.

Before the school year ended, district officials actually had meetings with concerned parents and handed them a brochure detailing student rights. Officials say the new policy is designed to bring an extra level of comfort on campuses.

The news came as a relief for parent Eleazar Alvarado, who said his 7-year-old son was born in Mexico, but has been in the United States most of his life.

"This new information that we got, it's actually a relief for so many people because there's been insecurity with all these things that are going on," Alvarado said.

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