Students’ rights and back to school

Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 9:02 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - With school starting up again, our focus turns to getting kids ready with school supplies and textbooks for the new year.

But one of the things that may not be covered in school outlines is student rights.

Especially when it comes to freedom of expression and fighting discrimination, inside our outside the classroom, particularly with LGBTQ rights, dress codes, racism, recent book bannings and history lesson restrictions.

According to the Wyoming ACLU, though policies may vary from school district to district, students have rights, and rules must be applied fairly.

If students are having issues, whether that be with access to education materials or discrimination from students or staff, Wyoming ACLU recommends students reach out to a trusted teacher to find out about school policies and resources available.

They can also reach out to local advocacy groups like the Wyoming ACLU, Juntos, or Wyoming Equality to receive a “know your rights” packet and training.

“There are people here for you. When I was here growing up here, that was the biggest thing. I felt like there was nobody here for me...understanding the things I was experiencing, the discrimination, the hate, the violence. But there are people now. “said Antonio Serrano, Advocacy Director for Wyoming ACLU

Currently, Wyoming ACLU officials say the top theme students ask about are dress codes for trans and LGBTQ kids, and students of color who want to know their rights when interacting with law enforcement on or around school property.