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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.
Stop pushing special education students out of school:  ACLU of Washington lawsuit seeks to stop students who require special education from being pushed out of Washington's public schools
PSA to student protesters: You have rights!
https://www.aclu-wa.org/sites/default/files/styles/alt/public/media-images/panel-panes/take_a_knee-panel.png?itok=4drRQdCD
Prosecutors should think twice before charging teens who sext

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Published: 
Thursday, May 13, 2010
While everyone seems to agree that parental involvement in schools is critical, the ACLU just filed an amicus brief in a case illustrating some of the obstacles that can arise when parents try to get involved. Yesterday, Division One of the Washington state Court of Appeals accepted the ACLU of Washington’s amicus brief in the case of State v. Green. This was a case where the mother of an elementary school student was indefinitely banned from school grounds, or “trespassed,” from her son’s elementary school in the Kent School District after she repeatedly asked pointed questions about curriculum, district policies, textbooks, and lesson plans at a “Curriculum Night” event held for parents. The District denied her request for a hearing to challenge the trespass order, and she ended up being cited and criminally prosecuted for going back to the school twice – once to try to attend a parent-teacher conference and a book fair, and once to pick up her son from a Science Fair. No one questions schools’ authority to regulate access to school grounds in order to ensure a safe and productive educational environment. The ACLU’s brief in this case explains why a school cannot simply banish a parent from her child’s school indefinitely without any opportunity for a hearing to challenge the allegation that was causing a disruption. For good reason, our state legislature passed a law this year directing that the Center for Improvement of Student Learning identify and highlight successful models and practices of parent involvement so that successful schools can be recognized. The Washington State Office of the Education Ombudsman also provides resources for families and school districts who want to work on developing successful partnerships and resolving conflicts. And students and families that want to advocate for improvements in their own District’s policies and practices regarding family involvement can find helpful tips in the ACLU of Washington’s Parents’ Guide to School Board Advocacy, also available in Spanish. The brief was written by ACLU of Washington’s cooperating attorney, Jamal Whitehead, formerly at Garvey, Schubert & Barer with ACLU Staff Attorneys Nancy Talner and Rose Spidell.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, April 26, 2010
After the ACLU intervened, a female student received credit for a physical education class from which school officials wrongfully barred her due to her pregnancy.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, January 29, 2010
The Legislature took significant strides in protecting privacy and extending fairness in several important areas: voting rights reform, domestic partnership rights, privacy for car travelers, and fair play in community sports.
News Release, Published: 
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Activist academic Phil Bereano (pictured at right), attorneys Amanda Lee and Jeff Robinson, and youth activist Colin Moyer have received the ACLU of Washington's 2009 awards for extraordinary efforts to defend and advance civil liberties.
News Release, Published: 
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
A recent federal court decision affects how Washington schools must operate their Associated Student Body organizations.
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 U.S. Supreme Court this fall will hear the appeal of a ruling that upheld the Seattle School District’s use of race as factor in assigning students to schools. The ACLU of Washington will file a brief in the case, supporting the district’s policy as a way to prevent racial segregation.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
The ACLU-WA and Kent School District in November reached an out-of-court settlement in the lawsuit filed by former student Mark Iversen. Iversen filed suit against the school district in 1997, alleging it did not respond adequately to incidents of harassment based on his perceived sexual orientation.
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.

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