The Ethic of Community and Incorporating Undocumented Immigrant Concerns into Ethical School Leadership

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Emily R. Crawford
Educational Administration Quarterly
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Published Date
12-05-2017 2:54 PM
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urpose: If Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) takes place in a community near school property, maintaining a school environment conducive to learning can be difficult. This article examines (a) how a school leader and personnel perceived the impact that ICE activity in their community had on students and families and (b) whether school personnel incorporated community concerns in their response, and if they exhibited an ethic of community. Research Methods/Approach: Data come from an embedded case study of 14 educators in a school that experienced ICE activity close to school grounds in 2008. Findings: The principal and other school personnel tried to minimize the impact that uncertainty over ICE's presence in the neighborhood could have on the school environment, and took steps to limit the short-term and long-term effects on the community. Personnel demonstrated that prioritizing relationships, dialogue, and collaboration with undocumented community members was central to their decision-making process. Implications for Research and Practice: School leaders and practitioners may not know their legal and/or ethical responsibilities toward undocumented studentsor anticipate contexts related to the legal status of students' family members. This article highlights the need for schools and school districts to create policies and resources to protect undocumented students' educational rights and ensure that personnel receive training on those policies. Research can expand understanding of how personnel respond to the sensitive personal and legal contexts involving undocumented families.
Socioeconomic Status
Family and Community Involvement