CATESOL Resolution on Proposition 187
Although Proposition 187 was passed by a majority of the voters
of California in November, 1994, its implementation has been
delayed by the courts. The reason for this, among others, is that
it violates the Supreme Court Decision of Plyler vs. Doe, which
states that children living in the United States have the
constitutional right to education under the equal protection
clause of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution.
As a result of this delay in implementation, educators do not
have to deal with the consequences of Proposition 187 at the
present time. Nevertheless, because the possible future
enforcement of this proposition could have a direct impact on
ESOL instructors and administrators, and because of the great
moral dilemma this proposition will bring about for educators in
the future if any part of it is implemented, the CATESOL Board
of Directors and the CATESOL membership have approved the
Whereas Proposition 187 violates Federal law by denying the right
of a free public education to children living in the United
Whereas the enforcement of provisions of this proposition
violates the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act,
which prohibits the release of information about public school
students except in the most limited of circumstances;
Whereas the enforcement of this proposition may require ESOL
teachers to assist in the identification of suspected
undocumented persons, a task which should not be within the realm
of teachers' responsibilities;
Whereas the process of identifying suspected undocumented
students could lead to needless discrimination and harassment of
the majority of the LEP population, those who reside legally in
the United States;
Whereas the enforcement of this proposition would interfere with
the educational process by creating a climate of suspicion in the
classroom, impeding our ability to provide a quality learning
Whereas the enforcement of this proposition would promote
discrimination against specific ethnic groups according to the
color of their skin, their accent, or their names;
Whereas the enforcement of this proposition could turn away more
than 300,000 students from California's public schools, thereby
creating a class of undereducated people;
Whereas the enforcement of this proposition would potentially
threaten the jobs of teachers who cannot morally support its
Whereas the enforcement of this proposition would promote the
dissolution of families by bringing about the deportation of
family members who may not yet have legal residency;
Whereas the enforcement of this proposition in California would
encourage similar legislation in other states of the U.S.,
thereby bringing about similar negative and immoral consequences;
BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE CATESOL BOARD OF DIrectORS
- Encourage teachers to abide by current Federal law.
- Endorse teachers' refusal to solicit or provide information
regarding the citizenship or immigration status of students.
- Investigate filing a "friend of the court" brief in opposition
to the implementation of Proposition 187, and encourage TESOL to
do the same.
- Actively educate others regarding the issues involved in
Proposition 187 by doing the following:
- publishing articles in the CATESOL Newsletter.
- communicating its position on 187 with TESOL and its affiliates.
- facilitating conference presentations on the topic.
- disseminating this resolution to schools and other educational agencies at their request.
- Coordinate with other educational groups to overturn what we
consider to be an unconstitutional law.