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Prosecutors Should Think Twice Before Charging Teens Who Sext

The ACLU-WA is encouraging prosecuting attorneys around the state to exercise prosecutorial discretion when considering whether to press charges in cases involving youth and the sharing of sexually-tinged photos, known as “sexting.” Read More »
Photo of a classroom

Can schools do that? Take the student rights quiz!

Students may lose some free time when they go back to school, but they don’t lose their liberty.  Whether it comes to free speech, privacy, or access to education, students have rights.  How much do you know about the rights of public school students in Washington?  Take our quiz! Read More »

Washington Supreme Court Rules Judges Can Use Age to Impose Lower Sentences for Youth

The WA Supreme Court has ruled that a judge can consider a defendant’s young age in imposing a sentence for a crime committed after his 18th birthday. The ruling affirmed what parents have known and scientists have confirmed: that the brain does not achieve full maturity until well past the age of 18. Read More »
Juvenile Records

Supreme Court Ruling Preserves the Juvenile Justice System

More than 100 years ago, Washington lawmakers created a separate juvenile justice system because they recognized that society benefits when juvenile courts focus on both accountability and rehabilitation. Read More »
Young, Scared, Alone, and in Court

Groups sue feds over failure to provide legal representation for immigrant children facing deportation

Jul 9, 2014
The ACLU and allies are pursuing a lawsuit challenging the federal government's failure to provide immigrant children with legal representation in deportation proceedings against them. It is unfair to force children to defend themselves alone against government prosecutors. Read More »

Groups Sue Feds over Failure to Provide Legal Representation for Children in Deportation Proceedings

The American Civil Liberties Union, American Immigration Council, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Public Counsel, and K&L Gates LLP filed a nationwide class-action lawsuit on behalf of thousands of children who are challenging the federal government's failure to provide them with legal representation as it carries out deportation hearings against them. Read More »

Liberty Link: New Washington school discipline data shows need for change

The ACLU of Washington has been working with allies to replace suspensions and expulsions with smarter, more effective forms of discipline.  According to new data from our friends at Washington Appleseed, students of color, students in special education programs, and students from lower-income families receive suspensions and expulsions at a higher rate than other students for similar misbehavior. Read More »

New data from the feds shows need for school discipline reform.

The US Department of Education has just released new data on school discipline and arrests.   Read More »
Teachers and youth talking

The School Discipline Conversation is Catching On

Students of color, disabled students, and low-income students are all disciplined more often and more harshly than their classmates, despite evidence that they don’t misbehave more often or engage in more troubling behavior. Read More »

School Searches – SB 6023

Position: oppose
Status: Passed out of Senate Law & Justice Committee, but did not pass out of Senate Rules Committee.
Problematic legislation would allow the police to conduct a warrantless search of a student at school, without any safety concerns and without any probable cause to believe the student has violated the law. The bill is unnecessary because school officials already have the authority to conduct searches in response to imminent safety threats. Read More »