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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.

Topic Resources

News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
In an order signed by Chief Justice Barbara Durham on May 12th, the Washington Supreme Court has decided not to review a 1997 Court of Appeals ruling that found unconstitutional the Bellingham juvenile curfew ordinance enacted in 1992.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
The Lake Washington School Board in Redmond, WA has decided not to impose restitution or community service on three Eastlake High School students who created a Web site on which someone else posted a death threat last fall.
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
Okanogan County has paid a settlement of $35,000 to a young woman for subjecting her to an illegal strip search at the county's juvenile detention facility in 1999. The young woman was represented by the American Civil Liberties Union. The County changed its strip search policy for juveniles shortly after the ACLU initially contacted officials about the matter.
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
For several years the ACLU has worked with parents to keep creationist teachings out of the science classroom in Burlington-Edison High School. Responding to advocacy by the ACLU and concerned parents, the school board in 1998 backed a decision by the superintendent that the science teacher could no longer teach creationism in the guise of "intelligent design theory" in biology lessons.
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
All student-initiated clubs have the right to speak on campus and circulate leaflets or underground newspapers at school. However, the ACLU believes that no student-initiated club has a legal right to force the school to give official endorsement and money to the group if the school does not wish to sponsor it.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
Khalil Hassam, a senior at University Prep in Seattle who has worked to build tolerance and respect for diversity at his school, has been awarded a 2006 American Civil Liberties Union Youth Activist scholarship.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
The Washington Supreme Court today struck down the City of Sumner's curfew ordinance, ruling that the law is unconstitutionally vague. The American Civil Liberties Union represents the Sumner parent who challenged the law. The parent had been fined for violating the curfew in 1999 after he allowed his teenage son to go to a neighborhood convenience store at night.

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