Youth Rights to Remain in School

Youth Rights to Remain in School August 2009

RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges federal and state legislatures to pass laws and national, state, and local education, child welfare, and juvenile justice agencies to implement and enforce policies that:
  1. Help advance the right to remain in school, promote a safe and supportive school environment for all children, and enable them to complete school;
  2. Limit exclusion from and disruption of students’ regular educational programs as a response to disciplinary problems;
  3. Provide full procedural protections, including the opportunity to have representation by counsel in proceedings to exclude students from their regular education program, appropriate provisions of due process in other school disciplinary processes, and implementing disciplinary procedures in a fair, non-discriminatory and culturally responsive manner;
  4. Reduce criminalization of truancy, disability-related behavior, and other school-related conduct; and
  5. Establish programs and procedures to assist parents, caregivers, guardians, students, and their legal representatives in understanding and exercising student rights to remain in school.

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges federal and state legislatures to legally define, and assure standardized on-going monitoring, reporting, and accountability for, measuring graduation rates, school dropout rates, school truancy, and disciplinary violations resulting in student suspensions and expulsions, with data disaggregated by race, disability and other disparately affected populations, and ensure that no group of students is disparately subjected to school discipline or exclusion.

These represent only those ABA Policy Resolutions in which the Commission on Youth at Risk was the principal sponsor.

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