Stories from the ACLU of Washington

Published: 
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Recognizing the importance of parents’ involvement in their children’s education, the Washington Court of Appeals has overturned the conviction of a parent prosecuted for trespassing at her child’s school. The court found due process rights were violated when the parent was not told she had a right to appeal the school district’s trespass notice. The ACLU-WA submitted a brief in the case explaining why a school cannot banish a parent from her child’s school indefinitely without any opportunity for a hearing to challenge the allegation that she was causing a disruption. Read more
Published: 
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
In 2008, when the City installed the police surveillance cameras at Cal Anderson Park, the ACLU warned of the dangers of government cameras recording the activities of law-abiding citizens, and noted that without safeguards for privacy, inappropriate uses of such cameras likely would result. Sure enough, the cameras were misused to zoom in on park users and were not used by the police to prevent or solve any crimes. Thankfully, last week the City Council passed legislation to remove the cameras – but only from Cal Anderson Park. The City now needs to remove the cameras from the Garfield Community Center as well. Email the Seattle City Council today. Read more
Published: 
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
As we said in a previous blog post , you might have thought that “debtors' prisons” were extinct. But people are still being locked up all too often in Washington and around the country simply because they can’t pay their court-ordered financial obligations in a criminal case. Read more
Published: 
Friday, October 1, 2010
The phrase "standing in the gap" comes from the Old Testament. According to the prophet Ezekiel, God said, "I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none. So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done." Yikes. Read more
Published: 
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
September is National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month.  On Labor Day, Washingtonians and Oregonians in recovery, along with family and friends, joined hands in a human chain across the Interstate 5 bridge that spans the two states.  Patty Katz and Louise Wedge launched the annual Hands Across the Bridge event eight years ago to celebrate their own recovery and, as Patty puts it, "to put a face on recovery." Read more
Published: 
Monday, September 27, 2010
A recent report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) indicates that the Clallam County Jail in Port Angeles had the third highest rate of sexual assaults against inmates amongst all jails surveyed throughout the U.S. Clallam County disputes the report, and has asked the FBI to investigate; BJS has countered its objections. This recent controversy casts a light on an important national issue that until recently, aside from the occasional crude joke, has been shrouded in silence. Sexual assault is a serious, pervasive problem in America's prisons, jails, and juvenile detention facilities, including in Washington.
Published: 
Friday, September 24, 2010
Consensual sexting should not be a crime for teens or adults. The frightening reality, however, is that our current child pornography laws coupled with modern technology have the potential to create a sex offender registry populated with the children it was intended to protect and a generation of teenagers who will reach the age of majority already convicted as child sex offenders. This is not what child pornography laws were meant for, and the time has come to address the issue rationally and reasonably, before it is too late. Read more
Published: 
Friday, September 24, 2010
Today, in Federal District Court, Judge Ronald Leighton ordered that the Air Force reinstate Major Margaret Witt, a dedicated flight nurse that had been dismissed under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. This is an exciting moment for everyone who believes in equality and an important advance in the fight to end discrimination against LGBT Americans in the military and in society at large. Perhaps most importantly, it is also a homecoming.
Published: 
Thursday, September 23, 2010
The landmark trial of Maj. Margaret Witt wrapped up yesterday, and Judge Ronald B. Leighton announced that he will deliver his decision this Friday at 1:30 PM PDT. Read more
Published: 
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Last week saw the release of two annual federal government reports which highlight the pervasiveness of Marijuana in the U.S. Unfortunately, only one of these reports received attention from U.S. Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske. Read more

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