Student Rights Information
The Freechild Project has found that students
across the United States and Canada are
standing up and demanding the schools they
deserve. Part of those schools include the
rights that every person is guaranteed as a
human. Court cases, civil rights
organizations, and young people have
defended these rights time and again, yet
many schools do not honor students' rights,
as learners, as citizens, or as humans. So
young people continue to rally for the
acknowledgement, protection, and support of
their rights in school.
"Ironically, children are unsafe in public
schools today not because of exposure to
drugs and violence, but because they have
lost their constitutional protections under
the Fourth Amendment." - Randall Beger in
"Expansion of Police Power in Public Schools
and the Vanishing Rights of Students."
Social Justice 29(1/2) (2002): 119-130.
The following list of websites,
organizations and publications have been
identified by youth researchers at
Freechild. We have listed them in
useful categories for young people and their
adult allies. Click on the heading for
Various Student Rights Resources
Tentler Student Rights
Articles, law cases and links regarding Student Rights. Included are such topics as Constitutional Rights, Academic Freedom, School Dress Codes, Book and Newspaper Censorship, Internet Access.
Tales of Protest -
true stories of
how people have protested school issues
and current issues
the School Survival Kit,
Comic Relief, and more!
Addressing Unprofessional Behavior
An individual's page that offers free counseling to [community college] students and professors who have problems concerning their constitutional rights or their academic freedom.
The Progressive Review: Youth and Schools
Information and articles about the rights and roles of students in public schools today.
About Student Rights
"Today's schools have become a little slice of the old Eastern Bloc." Includes information on free speech and search and seizures in schools.
Students Rights Now!
"Everything should be done to give adolescents their rights and an equal voice in the governing of the country of which they are legal citizens."
Power to the Youth
Power to the Youth is an
organization of youth (and cool adults) around the nation who are
taking charge of their schools, lives, and world
The Student As N----r
Foundational writing about the roles
of students in schools by John Farber.
Our Overlawyered Schools
Keep track of the latest examples of schoolyard "fascism."
Individual ACLU Student Rights Pages
Informing and education students and teachers with complete information about student rights, including youth researched and written opinion papers, on a per-state and national level.
These state chapters have specific websites for students rights - but
every ACLU supports the rights of students in schools. Check the
national website for more information.
Special thanks to Anne for her contributions to this
Internet Censorship in Schools
School Internet Censorship
Founded to provide
students with the means and opportunity to conduct action against
internet censorship. We do not simply write essays explaining the
problems with internet censorship - instead we focus on what we can do
right now to change it.
Advocates open Internet access for all young people. Includes software
that negates popular at-home blocking software.
Uniforms in Schools
Great Anti-Uniforms Page
links and information, including reasoning against uniforms, organizations
around the country fighting uniforms, and more.
Anti-Mandatory Uniforms Page
group of parents struggling to oppose mandatory uniforms in our otherwise
excellent local public schools. We hope to provide some on-line help to
others in the same struggle, as well as hear from others who have had to fight
The Polk Country (FL) School Uniforms Page
purpose of this site is to provide information for opponents of the Polk County
(FL) School System's mandatory school uniform policy. The emphasis will be on
countering the continuing attempts of the school board to deny parents their
rights to opt their children out of the uniform policy.
Out Policies Across the U.S.
Litigation Resulting From Mandatory School Uniform Policies
Speech in Schools
The Struggle for Student Rights : Tinker V. Des Moines and the 1960s (Landmark Law Cases and American Society)
"In our system, state-operated schools may not be enclaves of totalitarianism. School officials do not possess absolute authority over their students. Students in school as well as out of school are 'persons' under our Constitution." - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas.
The Free Student
An independent, online student journal, The Free Student aims to be the daily student newspaper of the United States.
network of students, professors, teachers and lawyers who work to protect
constitutional rights in educational environments through education, advocacy
and mediation concerning academic freedom and student rights issues nationwide.
CO-STAR's services are available to all students, including individuals and
groups in primary and secondary educational settings.
Zero Tolerance in Schools
Zero Tolerance Nightmares
This site publicizes the evils of zero tolerance school discipline policies and
the harm that these policies are causing to children, parents and families
throughout this country. It provides a resource for those current experiencing a
nightmare and looking for help or advice. If you are fighting a zero tolerance
nightmare, you have found a site that is sympathetic and supportive.
Rights Project at Harvard University
Search and Seizure in Schools
New Jersey vs. TLO
Supreme Court decision in the New Jersey v. T.L.O case regarding searches and
seizures in public schools.
Student Searches and the Law
An administrative guide to searches
on school campuses, by the National School Safety Center.
Random Drug Searches - A Loss of Liberty?
Racism in Schools
Coalition of Advocates for Students
works to achieve equal access to a quality public education for students who are
most vulnerable to school failure. NCAS' constituencies include low-income
students, members of racial, ethnic and/or language minority groups, recent
immigrants, migrant farmworkers, and those with disabilities. Focusing on
kindergarten through grade 12, NCAS informs and mobilizes parents, concerned
educators, and communities to help resolve critical education issues.
Youth of color in
Massachusetts expelled at higher rates
According to the latest school exclusion report by the Massachusetts Department
of Education, youth of color make up 23% of the total school population but
represent 61% of all exclusions (i.e. expulsions) in the system. In comparison
to the total student enrollment, a disproportionate number of students excluded
from school were African American and Latino. For example, the exclusion rates
for African American students, 4.1, and Latino students, 4.7, were significantly
higher than rates for white students (0.7) and over the past three years,
African American students accounted for the most significant rate change from
3.1 to 4.1 exclusions per 1000 students from 1999 to 2000.
Racism in Public Schools - What Students Say
This is a
study of Cambridge (MA) high school’s twelfth grade students’ experiences with
racial and ethnic diversity. It is part of a series of studies by The Civil
Rights Project across the country on what students in diverse and more
segregated schools learn both in specific content areas and in preparation for
adult life and work.
Justice Matters Institute
The Educational Justice Program
seeks to overcome the marginalization of people of color in schooling through
dissemination of information and ideas, building community and networks,
advocacy, and policy development.
Corporal Punishment in Schools
States permitting corporal punishment
American Association of Pediatrics
Corporal Punishment Resources
number of resources from Andrew Vachuss
Project No Spank
"A resource for students, parents,
educators, health care professionals, policymakers, and everyone who believes
that children's optimal development occurs in nurturing, violence-free
environments and that every child has the right to grow and learn in such an
The Right to Keep Your School Record Private
"The interest of the student must supersede all other purposes to which
might be put." – The National Education Association (NEA) Code of Student
Rights and Responsibilities
Teen Privacy Rights: A Hot Issue
by Deanna Durrett
Law by John Biggers