Student Rights Icon

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!
 
PSA to student protesters: You have rights!
ACLU of Washington Lawsuit: Stop pushing special education students out of schools
Taking a knee: A guide for administrators, teachers, parents, and students

Resources

News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
The U.S. Supreme Court heard two cases on Dec. 4 – including one from Seattle – involving desegregation programs in public schools. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed friend-of-the-court briefs in the cases.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
In the wake of the tragic murder of gay student Matthew Shepard in Wyoming, civil rights advocates in Washington are calling for passage of the Safe Schools Act.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
A settlement between student Nick Emmett and Kent School District has ended the district’s attempt to punish the student because of a Web site created on his home computer. Under terms of the settlement negotiated by the ACLU, the suburban Seattle district will not pursue disciplinary action against Emmett over the Web site and will pay his attorney fees.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
In the first legal action of its kind in Washington, two sets of parents of Wahkiakum High School students filed a lawsuit on Dec. 17, 1999 challenging Wahkiakum School District’s policy of suspicionless urine testing for students who participate in extracurricular athletic activities.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
The ACLU has filed a suit challenging a plan for suspicionless drug testing of students at Cle Elum-Roslyn High School, because it violates students’ privacy and interferes with parental rights.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
In the latest ACLU case backing student rights in cyberspace, Thurston County Superior Court Judge Thomas McPhee today ruled that public school officials cannot punish a student for free speech outside of school.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
A federal court has ruled that Seattle Schools may use race as one of several tiebreaking factors in assigning students to schools. The ACLU filed amicus briefs supporting the case.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
For the second straight year, the first week of school brought the ACLU a plea for help from a student in trouble for refusing to stand for the flag salute.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
The Nine Mile Falls School District has decided to stop searching students with drug-sniffing dogs. The decision avoided a planned lawsuit by the ACLU and the Center for Justice.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
The Washington Supreme Court found unanimously that requiring students to undergo drug testing without suspicion of wrongdoing violates the state constitution.

Pages