SPLC says two Autauga Co. Schools "broke the law" - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

SPLC says two Autauga Co. Schools "broke the law"

AUTAUGA CO., AL (WSFA) -

It came as a surprise to newly elected Autauga County Schools Superintendent Spence Agee who learned Thursday at noon at least two of the schools in his district were violating the law.

Outdated forms requiring social security numbers for extra-curricular activities were still on the school websites for Prattville Junior High and Marbury Middle.

"I didn't know. I had no idea. I called a couple of principals and said hey look guys, we need to look at this. This should be updated by now. It was an old form and it was corrected immediately," Agee said.  

Agee acknowledged receipt of letters from both the State Board of Education and the Alabama High School Athletic Association in August stating social security numbers were no longer a requirement for enrollment and extra-curricular activities. Agee said he had no idea those old forms were still online.

"We have denied no one to extra-curricular activities for any reason and we are in compliance with all state regulations," Agee said.

The old forms were removed soon after the letter was received. The ones without the social security number requirement were immediately uploaded to all websites.

Attorney Caren Short with the Southern Poverty Law Center says she's glad the superintendent acted quickly because the forms raised serious legal concerns.

"To deny a child based on their immigration status Is unconstitutional and unfair. Any form that requires a social security number is going to discourage a student who doesn't have a social security number from even attempting to participate," Short said.

Agee says he took it even a step further and contacted all the high schools to make sure their forms were updated and everyone was in compliance. He also says he personally called the football coach to inform him of the changes.

The superintendent says Hispanic students account for about two percent of the entire district.

And just to clarify, in the letter, the Southern Poverty Law Center did not name any cases of students who were actually turned away because they did not have a social security number.

The SPLC says they are not at liberty to disclose that information so they did not deny or confirm if they were handling any current cases.

Copyright 2013  WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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