All students, regardless of their immigration status, have the right to access public schools in British Columbia. Yet, families in British Columbia with precarious or no immigration status continue to experience barriers to registering their children in school across the province. This needs to change!
In May 2017, New Westminster School District passed a Sanctuary Schools Policy and have since continued to develop the procedures to put the policy into practice. There have also been many discussions over the past decade with school trustees, district senior staff, the Ministry of Education about how it is all of our responsibility to ensure students have access to their Right to Education. The BCTF passed a motion in 2014 encouraging locals to work with school boards to adopt Sanctuary Schools policies and has made a commitment to provide resources to members wishing to learn more about the campaign.
In Spring 2022 we are hopeful that real change in access to schools for all is happening. We know the Ministry of Education understands that all children and youth who are ordinarily resident in British Columbia have the right to register and attend public school, free of charge.