In 1969, the Supreme Court ruled that students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the school house gate.”
Still, constitutional violations are far too common in public schools across the country.
That’s why the ACLU of Wyoming is hosting a virtual workshop at 5 p.m. on Friday to provide an overview of student rights when it comes to free speech, school dress codes, gender stereotypes, freedom of expression and censorship of viewpoints expressed on campus.
“Teachers and administrators have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for students that is conducive to learning while respecting each student’s individual rights,” said Antonio Serrano, ACLU of Wyoming advocacy manager. “While the Constitution protects the rights of students at school, many school officials are unaware of students’ legal protections or simply ignore them. It’s important for students to know their rights so they can protect them.”
Serrano will be joined by Ammon Medina, the GSA coordinator for Wyoming Equality, at the workshop.
“Even though we’re still navigating uncertain times during the COVID pandemic, your rights are as certain as always,” Medina said. "Students thrive in safe and welcoming spaces at schools. When you know what the law says, you’re better equipped to protect those safe and welcoming spaces for yourself and your community at school and on campus.”
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Know Your Rights and School and on Campus Virtual Workshop
WHEN: 5 p.m. Nov. 13
WHERE: Your couch. Or kitchen counter. Or wherever you have Internet access. The training will be conducted via the Zoom webinar system. Link will be provided after registration
TO REGISTER: Go to aclu-wy.org/kyr-events
The free speech and dress codes on campus is part of the ACLU of Wyoming’s series of Know Your Rights trainings over the next few months. These one-hour virtual workshops will help you understand your rights and empower you to take action if those rights are violated. Future sessions will cover Interacting with Police and Other Law Enforcement on Dec. 4, Interactuar con la Policía en Español on Dec. 18, and LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit Adults on Jan. 8.
About the ACLU of Wyoming
The American Civil Liberties Union of Wyoming is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of Wyoming is part of a three-state chapter that also includes North Dakota and South Dakota. The team in Wyoming is supported by staff in those states.
The ACLU believes freedoms of press, speech, assembly, and religion, and the rights to due process, equal protection and privacy, are fundamental to a free people. In addition, the ACLU seeks to advance constitutional protections for groups traditionally denied their rights, including people of color, women, and LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit communities. The ACLU of Wyoming carries out its work through selective litigation, lobbying at the state and local level, and through public education and awareness of what the Bill of Rights means for the people of Wyoming.