Boston Superintendent Tommy Chang announced Friday that he’s resigning, one day after a lawsuit was filed alleging that Boston Public Schools shared information about a student that led to the student’s deportation.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, the nonprofit group said in a news release, along with “a coalition of students’ rights groups.”
The groups are suing to obtain records to “understand the extent to which (Boston Public Schools) shares such student information” with the Boston Regional Intelligence Center, known as BRIC, which the lawyer’s group described as “a network of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, which includes (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).” The group said in a news release that “BPS refuses to share any information.”
“The students’ rights groups filed their initial public records request upon learning of an East Boston High School student who was deported based, in part, on the report of a run-of-the-mill school incident that was shared by Boston School Police with ICE via the BRIC,” the lawyer’s group news release states. The “school incident” refers to two students who attempted to start a fight, but were unsuccessful.
Chang has previously said the schools don’t share student information, CNN affiliate WCVB-TV reports.
Neither Chang nor Boston Mayor Martin Walsh gave a specific reason for Chang’s departure. Also, neither Chang’s letter nor the school district said when the resignation will become effective, but WCVB reported Chang will be leaving his post before the start of the new school year.
A native of Taiwan, Chang moved to the United States at 6 years old, the school district’s website states. He said in his farewell letter Friday that public school teachers guided him on his educational journey, including learning English.
“In this moment more than ever, I want every immigrant child to know that’s the country America strives to be, must be, and will be,” Chang said.
Walsh said in a statement he and Chang “mutually agreed that there needs to be a change in leadership.”
“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 and execute on the many initiatives that have been identified as priorities for our students and schools,” the mayor’s statement read.
Chang became head of Boston’s school division in 2015, according to the Boston Public Schools website. He was awarded a five-year contract, which the website states is “the longest of any in the country for the head of a large urban district.” Before joining the Boston school system, Chang served as the local instructional superintendent of the Intensive Support & Innovation Center at the Los Angeles Unified School District in California.