One of the most important aspects of being an AB 540 Ally is that you are entrusted with providing an atmosphere of safety to those that come to you. In the simplest of terms, AB 540 Ally confidentiality means that what a student says to you is confidential and stays with you.
By posting the AB 540 Ally decal, you are sending the message that information shared with you will not be shared with others, unless the student has given you permission to do so. This is important for students who have not openly declared that they are undocumented, since one of the most common concerns is whether they should even tell anyone, and subsequent fears that someone will “out” them. Outing someone refers to telling others about a person’s immigration status without that person’s permission. Moreover, confidentiality is essential in order for students to share their reactions, opinions, and feelings with you.
It is, however also important to recognize that there are limits to confidentiality. It would not be appropriate to maintain confidentiality if a person shares that they intend to physically harm one’s self or another person. Protecting the immediate safety of the individual becomes more important than protecting their confidentiality. If you have concerns or questions about what constitutes confidentiality or limits to confidentiality, please contact Counseling and Psychological Services personnel at 562-985-4001.
Adapted from Prince, J (2002) Group Facilitator Training Workshop, unpublished document, and from Safe Zone Statement on Confidentiality, Counseling and Psychological Services, CSULB