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San Diego Unified Restricts District-Related Travel To Arizona

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The San Diego Unified School District is the first large urban school district in California to publicly boycott the state of Arizona. The five-member school board voted unanimously on Tuesday to “restrict” travel to that state.

— The San Diego Unified School District is the first large urban school district in California to publicly boycott the state of Arizona.

The five San Diego school trustees board voted unanimously on Tuesday to restrict travel to the State of Arizona. The board also voted to restrict participation in any conferences in that state.

San Diego Unified is the first big-city school district in California to make such a bold move. Denver Public Schools in Colorado also approved a travel ban.

San Diego school trustee Sheila Jackson says Arizona's immigration law is a civil rights issue that demanded the school board's attention. She worries kids could now be subject to racial profiling.

“(The policy) means kids cannot go out. Teenagers can not go out. Someone can pick them up if they’re just walking and don't have papers,” Jackson said.

Initially, the five-member panel was considering a resolution that simply warned students not to travel to Arizona. But trustee John Evans wanted the board to take a stronger stance by placing a restriction on district-related travel.

San Diego history teacher Dawn Miller applauds the decision. She told the school board its shows they're looking out for all kids.

“Anyone who is committed to the well-being of our children, and connected to the communities in which they live, will know this has everything to do with education,” Miller said.

A few critics disagreed. Parent Sheila Boling says the board is once again wasting taxpayer money. She told the school trustees they should move to Arizona if they want to voice their concerns.

“Stop inciting strife, anger and division on a topic that has nothing to do with the increasing concerns of education and budget cuts,” Boling told the board.

However, school officials say their bylaws allow them to take a stand on issues that directly impact the lives of students. About 75 percent of San Diego school kids are members of racial minorities. Forty-four percent are Latino.

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