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Youth

All young people must have the opportunity to meaningfully participate in our society. The ACLU Youth Policy project seeks to ensure that young people – particularly those who have been historically excluded or underserved – receive meaningful education and services in communities, instead of being pushed to a juvenile justice system that will undermine their ability to be successful as adults. Our current focus is on reforming school discipline policies and practices, working to limit school-based referrals to the juvenile justice system, and decreasing the over-reliance on jails and prisons for young people in the juvenile and adult criminal law systems.

Stop pushing special education students out of school:  ACLU of Washington lawsuit seeks to stop students who require special education from being pushed out of Washington's public schools
Supreme Court ruling:  Ruling allowed juvenile offenders to petition to seal court records
Washington Supreme Court rules that judges can use age to impose more just sentences for youth
Prosecutors should think twice before charging teens who sext

Resources

Know Your Rights: Police In Schools

Document, Published: 
Thursday, September 7, 2017
Many schools have police officers stationed on campus. Other schools may call police to respond to particular situations. Even though you are in school, you still have rights when interacting with police.
News Release, Published: 
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
“Today, in an act of cruelty, the government and President Trump went back on their word, threw the lives and futures of 800,000 Dreamers and their families into disarray, and injected chaos and uncertainty into thousands of workplaces and communities across America. There is no humane way to end DACA before having a permanent legislative fix in place.
Published: 
Tuesday, August 29, 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: 
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Ten-year-old Tory moved from Georgia and started in the Clover Park School District in June 2015. While Tory was once excited to go to a school with supportive teachers, now he is anxious about school as a place where he will be mistreated by teachers and humiliated in front of his peers.
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.
News Release, Published: 
Thursday, June 8, 2017
The ACLU of Washington today filed a lawsuit against the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) on behalf of students with special education needs who have been wrongfully disciplined for behavior related to the disabilities. The suit asks that OSPI, which is the primary public agency responsible for overseeing K-12 public education in Washington, ensure that they remain in school instead of being pushed out.

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.

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