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Document sent to parents of students in one school district stirs up immigration controversy

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DELAVAN-DARIEN -- Educating students and now parents -- when it comes to the new immigration laws. The Delavan-Darien School District is giving a quick lesson to all. But that knowledge is not coming without controversy.

Do not open doors, remain silent, and fight back. Those are just a few of the directives given in a document sent to families in the Delavan-Darien School District.

"With the ramping up of deportation, a lot of our illegal people obviously getting very nervous -- some are even hesitant to send their kids to school," said Dr. Robert Crist, Superintendent of Delavan-Darien School District.

Dr. Robert Crist, Superintendent of Delavan-Darien School District

Superintendent Crist said the informative move was necessary because of the climate and population in the schools.

"53 percent of our students used to be minority. Now, they are the majority and probably 48 percent or so of 53 are of Hispanic some of them are legal, some of them are illegal," Crist said.

Crist wants parents to understand the laws and plan accordingly.

"If parents are picked up at work, and we've had some here that I'm aware of, what happens to the children who are in school? Nobody would be at home. So they need to provide for that -- and we need to have school policies in place so we can provide for the safety and health of those kids until they can be properly placed in some place," Crist said.

But community member Ken Brauer believes differently.

"I didn't find it appropriate that this information was being disseminated by the superintendent," Brauer said.

Brauer claims Crist's actions have sparked concern among some parents.

"Almost, it was interpreted to avoid contact with law enforcement or immigration officials. I think maybe that's where the message got mixed up. They were concerned, like, don't cooperate," Brauer said.

Crist says that is not the case.

"We are obligated by law to educate everyone as best we can who lives within our attendance area. There cannot be any bias or anything," Crist said.

Crist said he did the research and copied those pages right out of the ICE policy manual -- which does indicate that churches and schools are typically safe zones.