Student & Youth Rights
In spite of the Supreme Court's ringing endorsement of students' rights in the landmark Tinker decision, constitutional violations are far too common in public schools across the country. Lockers and backpacks are searched without reasonable suspicion. Minority students are disproportionately directed to lower track programs, and LGBQ&T students are intimidated into silence.
Teachers and administrators have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for students that is conducive to learning. They also have a responsibility to respect each student's individual rights.
From free speech to privacy and from mass incarceration to voting rights, students will become experts on the issues currently being confronted in the United States’ courts and political arena.
The ACLU’s Summer Advocacy Institute will bring together a diverse group of students entering their junior and senior years of high school from across the United States to participate in an advanced, firsthand learning experience for the next generation of social justice advocates. Through an intensive 7-day program, students will learn directly from lawyers, lobbyists, community activists, journalists, and other experts working to defend the civil rights and liberties critical to a free and open society. The Close Up Foundation — a DC-based civic-education nonprofit — will serve as a partner with the ACLU to provide substantive experiential learning opportunities that help students hone their skills as issue-focused campaigners. Learn more and apply here!