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Student Rights

For liberty to be preserved, it must be nurtured in the hearts and minds of young people. The ACLU educates students about the many important rights they have and supports those who exercise their rights. In doing so, we help to prepare the next generation of guardians of liberty.

Has your son or daughter been “emergency expelled” from school for a minor disciplinary infraction that presented no threat? Has a teacher searched all the texts on your phone because you forgot to turn it off during class? Has a friend who’s trying to form a Gay-Straight Alliance at your high school been told that the group is “too controversial” and cannot hold meetings on school grounds? Know your rights and where to get help!
 
The school discipline conversation is catching on
ACLU of Washington Lawsuit: Stop pushing special education students out of schools
State Supreme Court rules against student drug testing

Resources

Published: 
Friday, July 28, 2017
Washington's special education students are entering the school to prison pipeline because schools suspend or expel them twice as much as their peers.
Published: 
Friday, July 21, 2017
Washington's special education students are entering the school to prison pipeline because schools suspend or expel them twice as much as their peers.

Equal Access Act

Document, Published: 
Friday, May 5, 2017
Many schools allow students to form clubs, like a drama club or a debate club. Under the law, schools cannot discriminate against student clubs, like Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) for example, simply because they disagree with the message or purpose of a club. This document provides information about the federal Equal Access Act and protections for student clubs.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, April 24, 2017
Students, Not Suspects Highlights How School Policing Funnels Youth into School-to-Prison Pipeline
Published: 
Monday, April 24, 2017
A new ACLU report exposes how police in Washington's schools funnel youth into the school-to-prison pipeline.
Published: 
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Every year, more than 40,000 Washington public school students are suspended or expelled, and special education students make up nearly a third of these students.
Published: 
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
In Cambodian Boys Don’t Cry, Rasmey Sam speaks about the horrors of the Khmer Rouge regime and how fortunate he feels being able to attend Cal State San Bernadino. He reflects on how formative those years had been for him, and how he was happy to be able to rebuild his life in the United States.
Published: 
Thursday, May 29, 2014
May has been National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month—a month-long opportunity for parents, schools, policy-makers, and organizations to promote and support effective teen pregnancy prevention initiatives. As becoming pregnant as a teen is a significant stumbling block to a financially secure future, measures devoted to preventing teen pregnancy certainly are important.
Published: 
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Children’s misbehavior should never be something they can’t recover from. That was the overarching message I heard on a recent trip to meet with leaders and advocates from the Baltimore City School District.

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