In this research article, authors Hillary Parkhouse, Virginia Massaro, Melissa Cuba, and Carolyn Waters examine teachers’ perceptions of their responsibilities to support undocumented students and the barriers they encounter in fulfilling them. Since the 1982 Plyler v. Doe decision guaranteed public K–12 education to undocumented students, there has been little policy guidance on how schools can support these students, particularly within the increasingly contentious political climate. Focusing on one new destination area in Virginia, the authors interviewed eighteen teachers who expressed their support for undocumented students. Of various subjects, grade levels, and years’ experience, these teachers represent a critical case in that they were likely to be more attentive to the experiences of these students than would the general teacher population. They took a variety of actions to enhance students’ feelings of security and normalcy through curricular decisions, emotional and material support, and adaptive advocacy at the school and district levels. However, the lack of clear policy led to varied interpretations of their responsibilities and a fear that their actions violated school or district guidelines.

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