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Boston superintendent resigns amid lawsuit claiming he shared student immigration info with ICE

Boston Public Schools Superintendent Tommy Chang resigned Friday in the midst of a lawsuit involving his schools' sharing of information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (Paul Marotta/Getty Images for UNICEF)

Superintendent of Boston Public Schools Tommy Chang resigned on Friday, just days after being sued by civil rights and student advocacy groups seeking to know how often the school system shared information with federal immigration authorities, according to the Boston Globe.

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said the resignation was due to concerns about Chang's job performance and not a direct result of the controversy or the lawsuit.

Walsh characterized it as a mutual agreement that a change in leadership was needed, although Chang also said things happened so quickly he has not even been able to find another job yet.

What is the lawsuit about?

A former East Boston High School student from El Salvador was deported after allegedly being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement for more than a year.

While he was at the school, he got into a nonphysical confrontation with another student. In the police report written about the incident, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Chang say school police included "unsubstantiated allegations of gang involvement," the Globe reported. That report was allegedly used in deportation proceedings.

The lawsuit, brought by the Center for Law and Education Inc., Kids in Need of Defense, and Multicultural Education, Training, and Advocacy Inc., accused the school system of the "disturbing practice" of giving student information to ICE and seeks information about how often the school system shared student information with immigration officials.

Before the lawsuit, the groups had been requesting the information from Boston Public Schools, which refused to comply with the request.

Chang has said his school system does not share student information with federal immigration authorities without a court order.

What else about Chang's resignation?

Officials close to the situation told the Globe that while Chang was rated as "proficient" in his last two performance reviews, his ability to relate to the community and reach improvement goals for the district has caused him to lose the confidence of his superiors.

"We need a long-term education leader with a proven record in management who can gain the confidence of the community on the strategic vision for the district," Walsh told the Globe.

(H/T: The Hill)

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