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Facebook, blogs, cell phones: Learn the new ABCs of student rights

Text messaging, YouTube, blogs, Facebook, and Twitter have joined books and pencils as part of the everyday reality of being in school. Online and mobile communications innovations raise new and old questions about the legal rights of public school students. Do you know the ABCs of student rights in the digital age? Take our quiz to find out. Read More »

Small Crimes, Big Consequences: Why Fairness in Municipal Courts is so Important

Aside from the jail time and fees and fines that may be imposed as part of a misdemeanor sentence, there can be life-long consequences of a misdemeanor charge. In connection with our work on criminal records issues, the ACLU has heard from numerous individuals denied housing or jobs because of a misdemeanor on their record. Read More »

LEADing the way in dealing with substance abuse problems

The innovative Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (“LEAD”) pre-booking diversion pilot program has now been operating since fall of 2011. Instead of arresting low-level drug offenders and prosecuting them, law enforcement diverts them to community-based treatment and support services. The LEAD program also has a new website ( Read More »

A Commitment to Learning: Russell Dickerson's Advice to Educators

After enduring years of harassment in school, Russell Dickerson III offers his perspective on how educators can tackle harassment and bullying head-on. Represented by the ACLU-WA, Dickerson recently gained a major settlement from Aberdeen School District over its failure to take action to end the harassment.  He reconfirms that schools have a responsibility to provide a safe learning environment for all students. Dickerson gives some insight into how on the Journal of Educational Controversy Blog. Read More »

Valentine’s Day Comes Early: Celebrating an Historic Victory for Equality

Valentine’s Day came a day early in Washington state. Today, Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a bill making Washington the seventh state to extend civil marriage to same-sex couples. Our state’s leaders have recognized that the relationships of all loving, committed couples need to be treated with the same respect under state law. Join us in celebrating this historic occasion by raising a toast tonight at 6:00 wherever you are. Read More »
I-502 Sponsors

Facing the Facts: The New Voices Not Afraid to Say “Legalize”

At Thursday’s joint Senate and House committee work session on the measure, four compelling witnesses testified in favor of this new approach. Substance abuse counselor and university professor, Roger Roffman. Retired public health director and former prison physician, Dr. Kim Thorburn. Former top U.S. prosecuting attorney for Western Washington John McKay. And retired high-ranking FBI official, Charles Mandigo. Read More »
Insist on real solutions to gang violence

Latino Civic Alliance Rejects Gang Injunction Legislation

An important statewide Latino organization in Washington State has weighed in against gang injunction legislation in the state legislature. Here's what Latino Civic Alliance has to say. Read More »

Insist on real solutions to gang violence

Gang violence is a serious problem, and we need smart solutions. But proposed legislation promotes use of court injunctions that could sweep up innocent individuals and send them to prison. And its bogus due process procedures may not even alert people until after the court order binding them has been issued. This approach has failed elsewhere. Tell your legislators to reject this misguided measure in Washington state. Read More »

Protect the privacy of your DNA

DNA contains a person's most private information. Proposed legislation would require mandatory collection of your DNA upon arrest, even if you are never charged or convicted. In America, our Constitution guarantees your right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Collecting DNA from the innocent will do nothing to make us safer. Tell your legislators that you oppose this unwarranted expansion of government power. Read More »

Washington State Marijuana Arrests Add Up

Over a ten year-period, more than 100,000 arrests were made in Washington state for adult marijuana crimes. The vast majority of these arrests were for low-level possession. Read More »