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Butler Schools Drop 'Discriminatory' Photo ID Policy

The ACLU accused the district of discriminating immigrant families by requiring parents to have a government-issued ID.

The Butler School District will no longer require parents to show photo identification that can only be obtained with a Social Security number in order to register their child after the policy was called discriminatory against immigrant families and challenged in court Tuesday.

Jeffrey Merlino, the Board of Education's attorney, said in State Superior Court in Morristown that while the district is diligent in ensuring all families live in Butler,
"we are not in the business of politics and immigration status is not a concern," according to NorthJersey.com.

Rev. Gonzalo Torres, of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Butler, said more than a dozen families in his parish were impacted for this week's registration for the 2014-15 school year, according to the article.

The school district's policy required parents to show a driver's license photo ID or other state or county-issued identification when they enroll their children for school. Those identification cards can only be obtained with a Social Security number.

Torres and the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey tried unsuccessfully to get the district to change its policy. When that failed, the ACLU-NJ filed a lawsuit Friday, alleging the district was discriminating against immigrant families.

The ACLU-NJ conducted telephone surveys in 2008 of more than 500 New Jersey school districts and found 139 of them, including Butler, required documents that indicated immigration status.

The New Jersey Department of Education has since reminded districts to allow families to register, regardless of immigration status.
mimi March 12, 2014 at 11:12 AM
Gee, I would have loved the ACLU being in charge of the 9/11 investigations. We probably would have wound up owing Bin Laden restitution. Butler I'm ashamed of you. Maybe if I sue because of our taxes they ACLU will take up the cause of going broke legal residents!
M. Justicel March 12, 2014 at 05:21 PM
Amazing how the average citizen is required to prove who they are ten times over when trying to renew their driver license but as soon as you ask someone who possibly is here illegally, all hell brakes loose. What is wrong with this state?
Jake Mathews March 12, 2014 at 11:24 PM
Its crazy to call these people immigrants what a joke are people forgetting that they are here illegally in the U.S they are getting welfare popping out kids like the cockroaches that they are I must show my ID like 10 times a week for stupid things and to think that the tax payers of butler are paying for their kids to go to my schools with my kids. kill them all at the U.S border I say. And ship the ones here out!

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