Visit our High-Stakes Testing Page for news, documents, and photos related to our years-long fight to stop high-stakes testing in Rhode Island.
- The ACLU of RI sharply criticized the Barrington Police Department for an unconscionable use of law enforcement authority in bringing criminal charges against children as young as 12 years old for violations of state “social media” laws. The ACLU asked the department to review these incidents and its approach to addressing teen misconduct on social media in order to consider more humane responses that don’t use the criminal law as the resolution of first resort.
- The ACLU of RI has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a third grade girl who was searched, detained and interrogated by Tiverton Police based solely on unsubstantiated claims from another child that the girl was carrying “chemicals” in her backpack.
- The ACLU has called on all school districts that currently have school resource officers to re-evaluate their use in the schools and to revise the agreements they have with police departments that set out their job responsibilities. The call was prompted by incidents at Pawtucket’s Tolman High School, which reinforced many of the serious concerns the ACLU has long held regarding the routine presence of police officers in schools.
- Despite growing consensus that out-of-school suspensions should only be used as a discipline of last resort, Rhode Island school districts continued to overuse suspensions during the 2014-2015 school year, the ACLU's latest school discipline report has found. The report, Oversuspended and Underserved, a follow-up to previous ACLU reports on the use of suspensions in Rhode Island public schools, found that schools doled out 12,682 suspensions in the last school year, often for minor misconduct. As in previous years, students with disabilities and students of color served a disproportionate amount of these suspensions.
Protecting the rights of students is key because most people’s first major encounter with the government is in the school setting. For students to appreciate the importance of civil liberties, it is critical that their rights be practiced and protected in that setting.