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By Kirsten Bokenkamp, Senior Communications Strategist, ACLU of Texas

Being a teenager isn’t easy. Kids can be hard on each other, and students must contend with the harsh realities of bullying, of lunch rooms fights, of students picking on one another, and of ending friendships over teenage love — all while trying to get an education to prepare them for adulthood, college and a career. Teachers and administrators are vested with the critical responsibility of creating and maintaining an environment where kids feel safe and supported so they can …

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By Shantelle Hicks, ACLU client

When I walked into the school gymnasium, every kid in my entire middle school was staring right at me — all 400 of them. It was like a bad dream.

I was confused why the middle school department head had called me into the junior high assembly in the first place. Students who had attended this particular assembly last year didn’t have to attend again and were free to work on homework and other assignments in their home room.

But I soon found out …

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When graduating senior Ceara Sturgis chose to wear a tuxedo for her senior yearbook photo, rather than the drape typically reserved for girls, her school responded by excluding her entirely from the senior portrait section of the yearbook. The ACLU represented Ceara in a sex discrimination lawsuit against her school district.

Let me explain. I’m a graduate of Wesson Attendance Center Class of 2010. I loved my high school. I had great friends, I got good grades, I played soccer and was in the band, and I got along …

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By Ariela Migdal, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Women’s Rights Project

When a girl tells a teacher or coach that she was raped in the hallways or parking lot of her high school, is her school allowed to make her leave school, drop a class, or quit a team or activity? Can her school tell her to "work it out" one-on-one with the boy who attacked her? If the school investigates the attack, is it appropriate for the school to rely on gender stereotypes in trying to figure out what …

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By Jennifer Dalven, Director, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project

Thirty-eight years ago today, the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that legalized abortion and helped to ensure that women and their families could decide for themselves whether to have a child. Within just a few years of the Roe decision, Congress stripped coverage for abortions from the Medicaid program, making access to abortion services harder to obtain for low-income women. Today, some politicians are still working to pass laws that will make it impossible for all …

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By Sam Ritchie, ACLU

This week is Ally Week, an annual event encouraging allies of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students to stand up against anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools. A project of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Ally Week is a time when students nationwide organize events that serve to identify, support and celebrate allies to LGBT students. Most students ask their peers, teachers and school staff to sign this pledge:

I believe all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender