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.
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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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  • January 15, 2021

    Call Congress: Oppose Tom Vilsack’s Nomination as USDA Secretary

    The Department of Agriculture has a long and painful history of racist policies that have made it impossible for Black farmers and other farmers of color to thrive This is compounded by the fact that the federal Department of Agriculture has largely become an arm of industrial agriculture companies

  • January 12, 2021

    Firing Kathy Kraninger Must Be Part of President-Elect Biden’s Economic Agenda

    By Paul Bland
    Executive Director

    It is no accident that many of President-Elect Biden’s first personnel announcements have been key appointments aimed at strengthening the country’s economy Biden is sending a clear message that important “pocket book issues” will be a central part of his White House agenda Steering the

  • January 7, 2021

    Public Justice Statement on Yesterday's Mob Attack on Democracy

    By Paul Bland
    Executive Director

    As legal advocates, we believe the rule of law matters Democracy matters And justice for all – including, and especially, racial justice – matters There must be accountability for inciting, and participating in, mob violence in order to try and overturn the will of the