Students’ Civil Rights Project

Public Justice’s Students’ Civil Rights Project uses litigation and advocacy to combat harassment and other forms of discrimination so that all students can learn and thrive in school. Our unique strategy for effecting lasting, systemic change pairs innovative legal advocacy with outreach, education, and mobilization efforts that empower young people to be catalysts for critical reforms.

Our work is rooted in, and steered by, our commitment to educational access, legal accountability, and youth empowerment.

Every student must be able to access education in a learning environment that is free from discrimination, including harassment and violence. No student should lose out on the chance to learn because of their race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other part of who they are. And no student should fear going to school because they are the target of discrimination, bullying, or other abuse.

There must be accountability for schools and leaders who fail to create the safe learning environment required under the law. All schools have a legal obligation to provide an equal opportunity for all students to learn. When schools fail to do so, we take them to court to ensure long-lasting change.

As advocates for equitable schools, we work to empower young people – including students of color, LGBTQ+ students, and student survivors of sexual harassment – to organize, advocate and stand for change in their K-12 schools, colleges, and universities.

If you believe you may have a case that Public Justice should know about, please click here to send our legal team more details.
Youth Empowerment. Educational Access. Legal Accountability.
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The Students’ Civil Rights Project increases access to education, holds institutions accountable and empowers young people, especially LGBTQ youth, students facing gender-based or sexual harassment and students of color who are harassed or disproportionately disciplined.


Help us protect, inform and empower students and their families.

Sign up today for exclusive updates on our work and how you can make a difference.

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  • November 7, 2020

    New Steps of Change

    America has come through four years of corruption and cronyism, a devastating campaign of deregulation that has harmed our environment, endangered workers and undermined our consumer protection laws, bungled crises and an all-out assault on civil rights. All of us at Public Justice are committed to helping President-Elect Biden, Vice President-Elect Harris and Congressional leaders chart a new course forward and get our nation back on track.
  • November 4, 2020

    Every Voice Matters. Every Vote Must Count.

    Across Public Justice’s work, one fundamental principle guides us: Every voice matters, every community deserves to be heard and no one should be stripped of their political or legal rights.
  • November 3, 2020

    Join Us in Supporting the Counseling Not Criminalization in Schools Act

    Students should be able to get an education without fearing for their safety, from the same people ostensibly there to protect them Unfortunately, the data shows that police in schools and school resource officers (SROs) make Black and brown students, LGBTQ students, and students with disabilities less safe

    That’s why