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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?
 

Topic Resources

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

A group of parents is challenging the suspicionless testing of Wahkiakum School District students who participate in extracurricular athletic activities.

News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009

The U.S. Supreme Court this fall will hear the appeal of a ruling that upheld the Seattle School District’s use of race as factor in assigning students to schools. The ACLU of Washington will file a brief in the case, supporting the district’s policy as a way to prevent racial segregation.

News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009

The federal Equal Access Act requires schools to give all noncurriculum-related student clubs – such as Gay-Straight Alliances - equal access to school facilities, regardless of the content of the speech in their meetings.

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: 
Monday, November 2, 2009
Jessica Beckett, a senior at North Kitsap High School in Poulsbo, has been selected to receive a Youth Activist Scholarship Award in recognition of her work for civil liberties. The $4,000 college scholarship is one of nine awarded by the American Civil Liberties Union to high school students around the nation.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, November 2, 2009
Responding to problems faced by students in several schools, the American Civil Liberties Union is advising school officials statewide that their existing rules for student-organized clubs may discriminate against some student organizations. In a letter sent to school districts throughout Washington, the ACLU explained that federal law makes it clear that student clubs promoting tolerance for gay students are entitled to the same resources as other clubs.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, November 2, 2009
The Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) has the same free speech rights as other student clubs at Federal Way High School, thanks to action by the ACLU. In March school officials notified the GSA that a student government vote against the club will not be grounds for denying it equal access to school resources.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, November 2, 2009
Reasonable rules against harassment on the basis of sexual orientation do not violate the free speech rights of students and teachers. Here are some general guidelines for striking a balance between protecting free speech and protecting students against harassment.

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