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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
Settlement will limit the use of solitary confinement for youth in detention in Grays Harbor County.
Washington Supreme Court rules that judges can use age to impose more just sentences for youth
Prosecutors should think twice before charging teens who sext

Resources

Published: 
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Children’s misbehavior should never be something they can’t recover from. That was the overarching message I heard on a recent trip to meet with leaders and advocates from the Baltimore City School District.
Published: 
Thursday, November 14, 2013
This week, one of the largest school districts in Florida announced it is replacing suspension and expulsions with a new restorative approach to school discipline – the same type of alternative approach that the ACLU of Washington is promoting here in Washington state.
Published: 
Thursday, October 17, 2013
GeekGirlCon is here!  If you haven’t heard of GeekGirlCon before, you are missing out on a great event. 
Published: 
Friday, October 11, 2013
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!
Published: 
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Did you know that only 50% of teen mothers receive their high school diploma? Discrimination at school can play a big part in pushing them out and keeping them out.
Published: 
Monday, July 29, 2013
The fight for fairness in education for pregnant and parenting girls recently got a big boost – from the federal government. The U.S. Department of Education took action to make sure these girls are given the same access to education and opportunities as other students.
Published: 
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Kids can’t learn if they aren’t in school.  That’s why our state has a mandatory attendance rule that requires students to go school or give a good reason why they have missed a day of class time.  But our current discipline laws allow schools to expel or suspend kids as a punishment for breaking rules sometimes for even minor infractions.
Published: 
Friday, October 19, 2012
Today is Spirit Day when people across the country wear purple as a sign of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth and to speak out against bullying.  

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