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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? Know your rights and where to get help!
 
The school discipline conversation is catching on
ACLU of Washington Lawsuit: Stop pushing special education students out of schools
State Supreme Court rules against student drug testing

Resources

News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 3, 2017
The ACLU of Washington is honoring a statewide immigrant support network, a Spokane group that has advocated for reform of school discipline policies, and a group of Auburn students that have advocated for the rights of immigrant youth with its annual awards for 2017.
Published: 
Monday, October 2, 2017
Christian: Punished and forced into online school for taking too long in the restroom

Parents' Guide to Public School Discipline in Washington

Document, Published: 
Thursday, September 21, 2017
This pamphlet provides nuts-and-bolts advice for parents whose children are facing disciplinary proceedings at a public school. It is designed for those who intend to advocate for their children in meetings with administrators, hearing officers, and school boards.

Know Your Rights: Police In Schools

Document, Published: 
Thursday, September 7, 2017
Many schools have police officers stationed on campus. Other schools may call police to respond to particular situations. Even though you are in school, you still have rights when interacting with police.
Published: 
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Washington's special education students are entering the school to prison pipeline because schools suspend or expel them twice as much as their peers.
Published: 
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Ten-year-old Tory moved from Georgia and started in the Clover Park School District in June 2015. While Tory was once excited to go to a school with supportive teachers, now he is anxious about school as a place where he will be mistreated by teachers and humiliated in front of his peers.
Published: 
Friday, July 28, 2017
Washington's special education students are entering the school to prison pipeline because schools suspend or expel them twice as much as their peers.
Published: 
Friday, July 21, 2017
Washington's special education students are entering the school to prison pipeline because schools suspend or expel them twice as much as their peers.

Equal Access Act

Document, Published: 
Friday, May 5, 2017
Many schools allow students to form clubs, like a drama club or a debate club. Under the law, schools cannot discriminate against student clubs, like Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) for example, simply because they disagree with the message or purpose of a club. This document provides information about the federal Equal Access Act and protections for student clubs.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, April 24, 2017
Students, Not Suspects Highlights How School Policing Funnels Youth into School-to-Prison Pipeline

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