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- Cell phone searches: The ACLU of Ohio has heard reports of school officials seizing and searching students’ cell phones. Read an ACLU letter to the Ohio School Board Association urging schools to cease searching students’ phones.
- Criminalization of online speech: Many school districts are actively monitoring social networking sites for student activity. The ACLU of Ohio has sent letters to Ohio superintendents offering clarity on the constitutionality of discipline for students’ online speech.
- Sexting: Teens around the state have been threatened with prosecution for “sexting,” the act of sending explicit photos via cell phone. The ACLU of Ohio has urged prosecutors not to charge juveniles with sex crimes, but rather to require education about the risks of “sexting”.
You have the right to be safe at school. The ACLU of Ohio encourages schools to adopt proactive, education-based programs to prevent and eliminate bullying.
While adults deal with school bullying through training and legislation, some proactive students are creating plans to tackle bullying and stop it. Information and tips for dealing with bullies is available through TeensHealth. The U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights also has frequently asked questions and a comprehensive pamphlet on sexual harassment, which can include harassment based on gender presentation or sexual orientation.
The ACLU of Ohio provides speakers to clubs and classes on a variety of issues, including LGBT issues, student rights, and drug policy. Request a speaker here.
Need to learn more about civil liberties or the ACLU for a homework assignment? Information is available below: