ACLU-TN hosting fourth-annual Students’ Rights Conference on March 8

“Youth In Action: Know Your Rights, Make Some Change” is the topic for the fourth-annual Students’ Rights Conference in Nashville hosted by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Tennessee. The conference, which will take place Saturday, March 8, at the Nashville Public Library’s Main Branch, is designed for Tennessee’s public and private high school students.

The conference will focus on young people’s rights, both in school and in the community. Conference topics will include freedom of speech and expression, discipline, dress code, youth violence, LGBT rights and drug testing. Special sessions will focus on what to do when stopped by the police and the tools needed for making change.

Conference participants include attorney David Hudson, First Amendment Center scholar, Police Chief Ronal Serpas of the Metro Nashville Police Department, Referee Sheila Calloway of the Metro Nashville Juvenile Court and youth activist Lindsay Earls, plaintiff in the 2002 Earls v. Board of Education Supreme Court case that challenged random drug testing of high school students participating in extra-curricular activities.

According to Hedy Weinberg, ACLU-TN Executive Director, “The conference brings together a diverse group of students to discuss their rights, responsibilities and civil liberties concerns as they prepare to become active participants in their community.”

According to Weinberg, “ACLU-TN, working with students, consistently advocates for greater protections for young people through our public education and advocacy work, as well as through our legislative lobbying and litigation. It is exciting to join with the next generation who will ensure that our constitutional guarantees become a reality for Tennesseans.”

The ACLU-TN is the only statewide organization dedicated to protecting and promoting the constitutional guarantees of the Bill of Rights.  An affiliate of the national ACLU, ACLU-TN is a private, non-profit, non-partisan membership organization.

Student registration is from 9:30-10:00 a.m. on the day of the conference.  The program will begin at 10:00 a.m. and conclude at 4:00 p.m.  Plenary sessions, panels and workshops will take place throughout the day.  Lunch and snacks will be provided free of charge.

While there is no cost to attend, students must pre-register for the conference by calling the ACLU-TN office at (615) 320-7142.  Registration forms are also available on the ACLU-TN Website, but students should call as well to confirm their reservation. 

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

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