Rhode Island Affiliate, American Civil Liberties Union


Students' Rights Court Cases

Most people’s first major encounter with the government is in the school setting. For students to appreciate the importance of civil liberties, it is critical that their rights be practiced and protected in that setting.

Boyer v. Jeremiah (2010-ongoing)

A class-action lawsuit charging that the state’s truancy court system is devoid of due process protections in violation of state and federal law, that the truancy courts are frequently punitive in nature, and that truancy court magistrates threaten vulnerable children and their parents with baseless fines and imprisonment, remove children from the custody of their parents without legal justification and fail to keep adequate records of court hearings.
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URI Student Senate v. Town of Narragansett.  (2008-ongoing)

A lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of an ordinance which allows police to charge tenants and landlords with allowing, and to place orange stickers on houses that have allegedly been the site of, “unruly gatherings.” Cooperating Attorney: H. Jefferson Melish
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Jessica G. v. Westerly School Department. (2007)

“Friend of the court” brief in R.I. Supreme Court challenging the lack of due process safeguards in truancy court hearings. The appeal was dismissed as moot when the lower court agreed to dismiss the appellant from the jurisdiction of the court. Cooperating Attorney: Amy R. Tabor
News Release | Amicus Brief

Agin v. Portsmouth School Committee. (2006-2007)

Lawsuit challenging a high school principal’s decision, on “zero tolerance” grounds, to ban a student from appearing in medieval garb and holding a prop broadsword for his senior yearbook photo. At the court’s request, the matter was referred to the state Commissioner of Education, who ruled in favor of the student. Cooperating Attorneys: Thomas Connolly, George Lieberman
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See also:
Highlights from Students' Rights court cases since the early 1970s.


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