"It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate."

- Abe Fortas, Supreme Court Justice in Tinker v. Des Moines (1969)

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Youths and students, just like any other groups in the United States, are guaranteed all the rights in the Constitution. Unfortunately, due to their age and status, both groups sometimes have their rights usurped by the institutions that they interact with. A famous example of this is the Supreme Court case Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969), in which the Supreme Court ruled that a school could not punish students for wearing black armbands as part of a Vietnam War protest.

The ACLU feels strongly that the Constitutional rights of students and juveniles must be respected. If they are to be expected to know their Constitutional rights as adults, it behooves us to uphold those same rights when they are in school. Actions such as checking students backpacks randomly, supressing their free speech, and failing to provide equal protection will only undermine our children's futures while depriving them of their rights. For more information on what the ACLU of Georgia is doing to further the interests of students, check out our work on dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline.

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