The NYCLU is a public-interest law firm that principally addresses issues involving challenges to a government law, policy or practice affecting the constitutional rights – that is, the civil liberties and civil rights – of a significant number of people arising in New York State. Find out how to get help with such an issue.
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Overly punitive school discipline feeds the school-to-prison pipeline and contributes to the failure of New York’s public school system to educate the city’s most disadvantaged students.
Research consistently demonstrates the importance of keeping students with the greatest academic and economic needs in school.
Many public school districts across New York State provide sex-ed instruction that is inaccurate, incomplete and biased, according to Birds, Bees and Bias: How Absent Sex Ed Standards Fail New York’s Students. This report examines sex-ed materials used during the 2009-2010 and 2010-11 school years from across New York State.
Among the NYCLU’s key findings:
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth often face harassment and discrimination simply for being who they are. Just the thought of entering the school doors can be a nightmare for many students.
But the law requires school administrators and teachers to:
Protect LGBTQ students from bullying and harassment.
Treat LGBTQ students fairly and equally.
Respect LGBTQ students’ free speech and free expression rights.
We are deeply disturbed about the horrific increase in violent bigotry in our city, including in our schools. In October 2010 alone, two Bronx teens and one adult were beaten and tortured by a group of attackers because they were gay, and a Staten Island freshman stopped going to school because of the consistent abuse and bullying he faced by a group of classmates because he was Muslim.
The New York State Constitution guarantees a free public education to all children in New York. In addition, both international human rights bodies and U.S. courts have recognized that a free education is the cornerstone of success and social development for young people. In Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court unequivocally stated, “In these days, it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education.”
In New York State, everyone younger than 21 who does not have a high school diploma has the right to attend a public school.
This right is protected by our state constitution. When your school wants to suspend you, it is taking away that right for a period of time. But there are rules that the school must follow where your rights are concerned. This guide will help you understand the rules, and protect your right to an education.
Dating abuse is the use of abusive behaviors by a person to harm, threaten, intimidate or control a current or former dating partner. Dating abuse can include, but is not limited to, physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Dating abuse is a widespread problem -- nationally, up to 40 percent of teens have been in abusive relationships and of those that have, 43 percent experienced abuse while at school.
Many educators, students, and parents have reported that United States Military recruiters are using heavy-handed tactics to harass students, violate their privacy rights, and target poor students and students of color in schools. To help prevent these violations, students must opt out of both the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) recruiter access provision and the Joint Advertising Market Research and Studies program (JAMRS) database.
Each year, thousands of teen parents' drop out - or are pushed out - of New York City schools. Studies have documented drop out rates for teen parents as high as 70 percent. All of these young people are legally entitled to a free public education - a support that provides a foundation for future success for both parents and their children.