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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

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.

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

In a precedent-setting case, the Washington Court of Appeals has temporarily put a halt to Wahkiakum School District’s program of suspicionless urine testing for student athletes.

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

Students in Bellingham can continue distributing at school the alternative newspaper they produce thanks to help from the ACLU.

News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009

Mount Vernon High School has opened its formerly all-female cheerleading squad to all students, regardless of gender, after the ACLU intervened on behalf of a male transgender student who was denied a full opportunity to participate.

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.

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