Blog of Rights


Extreme School Discipline and Frequent Suspensions Fail Us All

By Frank Knaack, ACLU of Texas at 2:31pm
On Christmas Eve 2004, thirteen year-old Francisco De Luna’s father died unexpectedly of a heart attack. Less than five months later, Francisco was introduced to the Texas criminal justice system for the first time. His crime? According to the narrative attached to his ticket, he had a defiant attitude toward school officials and “did not want to learn.” Really? After enduring a family tragedy, Francisco started acting out, as many kids do when trying to cope with such a loss. During the next two and a half years, Francisco received a dozen more criminal tickets for wearing baggy pants, cursing, and refusing to follow teacher’s instructions. But instead of recognizing the fragile and sensitive nature of Francisco’s situation, school officials criminalized his behavior. Unfortunately, Francisco’s case is not unique to Texas, or to the rest of the United States.    
A Glimmer of Hope in Texas' Approach to the War on Drugs

A Glimmer of Hope in Texas' Approach to the War on Drugs

By Frank Knaack, ACLU of Texas at 12:43pm

June 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of President Richard Nixon's declaration of a "war on drugs" — a war that has cost roughly a trillion dollars, has produced little to no effect on the supply of or demand for drugs in the United…

A Case of Abuse of Power in Texas

By Frank Knaack, ACLU of Texas at 2:39pm

Today, the ACLU of Texas released its report (PDF) analyzing the new curriculum standards proposed by the Texas State Board of Education. The report finds the board's ability to insert members' own ideological and religious beliefs into the public…

What Not to Wear...on Election Day

By Frank Knaack, ACLU of Texas at 2:29pm

The ACLU is strongly committed to protecting everyone's right to make their political opinions known, regardless of one’s viewpoint. This includes pro-life demonstrators protesting former President Clinton and opponents of the Iraq War calling…

A Free Press: The Latest Casualty in the "War on Terror"

By Frank Knaack, ACLU of Texas at 2:41pm

Beyond indefinite detention, numerous allegations of torture, and a massively deficient court system created by the Military Commissions Act, the case of Sami al Hajj, an Al Jazeera reporter, adds the prospect of uncovering a new and equally disturbing…

Respecting Human Rights...At Home

By Frank Knaack, ACLU of Texas at 5:09pm

Sixty years ago today the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt, adopted the draft of what would become the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR has since become the foundation of the modern human…

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