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.
School Principals: Students Have Privacy and Free Speech Rights Too!

School Principals: Students Have Privacy and Free Speech Rights Too!

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:05am

One of the technology-related civil liberties battles that ACLU affiliates around the country have been fighting in recent years involves defending students’ rights to privacy and free expression in the new electronic media that are becoming…

Race Matters Everywhere Else in America - Why Shouldn’t It Matter in College Admissions?

Race Matters Everywhere Else in America - Why Shouldn’t It Matter in College Admissions?

By Courtney Bowie, Racial Justice Program at 10:25am

Today, the Supreme Court will hear the so-called affirmative action case, Fisher v. University of Texas.  The Court will decide whether or not the university’s use of race, as one of many factors in its admissions process, is constitutional.…

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…

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,…

Respecting All Faiths in Our Public Schools

Respecting All Faiths in Our Public Schools

By Dr. A. Scott Henderson. When I was a first-year teacher, I had the opportunity to tutor an eighth-grade boy (I’ll call him “John”) who had recently moved to the United States from India. We spent an hour together each day for an entire school year. During that time I got to know John pretty well.

You Are Not Alone

You Are Not Alone

By Harrison Hopkins

Harrison Hopkins graduated in 2011 from Laurens District 55 High School in Laurens, South Carolina. He is currently a sophomore at Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC, where he is the founder and current president of the Secular Student Alliance at Presbyterian College. His blog is part of this week’s “Religious Freedom Goes to School” blog series. Share your story about religious freedom in South Carolina’s public schools by reporting potential religious freedom violations to us.

Protecting Our Faith By Respecting the Constitution

Protecting Our Faith By Respecting the Constitution

By Rev. Paul Wood

Paul Wood is a minister at the First United Methodist Church in Cheraw, South Carolina. His blog is part of this week’s “Religious Freedom Goes to School” blog series. Share your story about religious freedom…

Standing Up for What You Believe In

Standing Up for What You Believe In

By Jordan Anderson, ACLU Plaintiff. In late 2011, the ACLU and ACLU of South Carolina brought a lawsuit against Chesterfield County School District on behalf of student Jordan Anderson and his father, Jonathan Anderson. The lawsuit sought to put a stop to the school district’s widespread religious freedom violations, including official prayer at school events, school-day assemblies featuring preaching, and displays of religious symbols such as crosses and the Ten Commandments. The lawsuit resulted in a consent decree restoring religious freedom to all district students. Jordan’s blog is part of this week’s “Religious Freedom Goes to School” blog series.

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...

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