Student Rights in School

Wearing a Hoodie While Brown Does Not Mean You Are in a Gang

By Courtney Bowie, Racial Justice Program at 5:00pm
On December 16, 2010, West High School officials in Salt Lake City, Utah invited the Metro Gang Task Force into the school to conduct a gang sweep. Students identified, searched and interrogated by the police were mostly Latino/a or, in the case of Kaleb Winston, African-American.  He was targeted by his school and by the Task Force as a potential gang member, searched and accused of being a tagger. As an artist, Kaleb had a notebook full of drawings in a backpack manufactured to look like it had been spray-painted. But because graffiti is loosely defined, if at all, the police decided Kaleb was a “gang tagger” despite his denials. Kaleb was then forced to hold up a sign with the words “My name is Kaleb Winston and I am a gang tagger.” Law enforcement officers told him that this information was being placed into a database and that the information would be removed if he did not get into trouble for two years. Kaleb was emotionally devastated by the experience. He is not and has never been in a gang. Yet, his attendance at school that day, not bad behavior, made him the subject of intense police scrutiny and he now lives with the fear that the police view him as a suspect.
In Disturbing Trend, Kansas School the Latest to Punish Student for Harmless Tweet

In Disturbing Trend, Kansas School the Latest to Punish Student for Harmless Tweet

By Greger Calhan, Legal Fellow, ACLU, Racial Justice Program & Brian Hauss, Legal Fellow, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 2:46pm

Update: An earlier version of this post did not cite Heights High School's letter to Wesley and his parents, which was originally published on KWCH.com.

In Kansas, joking about sports can be hazardous to your high school graduation. Wesley…

Get Tested Or Get Out: School Forces Pregnancy Tests on Girls, Kicks out Students Who Refuse or are Pregnant

Get Tested Or Get Out: School Forces Pregnancy Tests on Girls, Kicks out Students Who Refuse or are Pregnant

By Tiseme Zegeye, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 12:33pm

In a Louisiana public school, female students who are suspected of being pregnant are told that they must take a pregnancy test. Under school policy...

ACLU Sues Missouri School District for Illegally Censoring LGBT Websites

ACLU Sues Missouri School District for Illegally Censoring LGBT Websites

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 4:32pm

Can't say we didn't warn them. Back in May, as part of our Don't Filter Me project, the ACLU sent a letter to the Camdenton School District informing them that the web filters they use on school computers were unconstitutionally blocking access…

California Social Media Privacy Laws Give Students, Employees Online Rights

California Social Media Privacy Laws Give Students, Employees Online Rights

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 11:15am

On Thursday California Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills into law that will protect the privacy of employee and college student social media accounts in the state of California. While these bills aren’t perfect, they are an important first…

School vouchers aren’t just bad policy—they’re unpopular, too

School vouchers aren’t just bad policy—they’re unpopular, too

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:50pm

Year after year, PDK/Gallup releases an annual poll of public attitudes toward public schools, and it consistently finds that a majority of those polled oppose allowing students and parents to use taxpayer-funded vouchers to attend private schools.…

Hacking Cars, Chipping Kids, and Fingerprinting at Disney (Friday Links Roundup)

Hacking Cars, Chipping Kids, and Fingerprinting at Disney (Friday Links Roundup)

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 5:34pm

A disgruntled worker at a Texas auto dealership hacked into a vehicle-immobilization system and disabled more than 100 vehicles. Our automobiles are getting more and more computerized, so the threat of hacking vehicles is being taken increasingly seriously,…

Big Data: NSA, Facebook—and My University?

Big Data: NSA, Facebook—and My University?

By Bennett Stein, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 12:51pm

On Sunday, the New York Times published an extensive piece surveying the ways American universities are using their access to students’ information to tailor their college experiences. Universities collect a huge amount of data on their students—course…

Separate Is Not Equal

Separate Is Not Equal

By Courtney Bowie, Racial Justice Program & Karyn Rotker, Race, Poverty, and Civil Liberties Attorney at 5:02pm

In a letter released this week, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) informed Wisconsin that its publicly-funded private school voucher program must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. In its letter, DOJ reminded Wisconsin that the state's…

The Road Ahead for Newtown Legislation

The Road Ahead for Newtown Legislation

By Alex Berger, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 11:57am

At the beginning of the first Senate hearing on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) instructed those in the hearing room to stand if they had been affected by gun violence. As nearly everyone in the packed hearing room,…

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