TPS declares campuses as 'Safe Zones'

TPS declares campuses as 'Safe Zones'

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The TPS school board voted unanimously Tuesday night to designate its campuses as safe zones. This means the district wants to make sure all students are treated fairly and feel welcomed regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation or immigration status.

The school system issued a statement that said its decisions and operations are built around the best interest of the students.

"Lucas county in general has been on the map for being a welcoming community. We have been getting kudos around the country for the work we've done as a refugee resettlement area," said Polly Taylor-Gerke, Vice-President of the Board of Education with Toledo Public Schools.

School board representatives believe students achieve best in an environment where they feel safe and supported.

"Kids who are stressed out about whatever, whether it's their sexual orientation or their immigration status, or the immigration status of their parents, they aren't going to do well in school," said Taylor-Gerken.

The school system wants families to know there are resources in place to help make them feel welcomed.

Employees worked with other school districts to research best practices for moving forward.

"Our legal counsel crafted a very, I think, strong resolution that not only says we are a safe zone but we're gonna be even more deliberate in being a resource," Taylor-Gerken said.

Board members said they must make sure policies are reiterated and understood, especially in the country's current national climate.

"That hateful rhetoric extends beyond just immigr ants and refugees, I mean we're hearing it with sexual orientation, with religion," Taylor-Gerken added.

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