MIAMI — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida and Playground City today launched new resources for students to learn about their rights in school. Following the release of the ACLU of Floria’s study, “The Cost of School Policing,” the “We Have Rights Student Handbook,” provides critical information for students regarding their rights and how to exercise those rights in school including, what is protected speech under the First Amendment, their rights while they are interacting with police, how to file complaints regarding harassment and discrimination, and the rights students have regardless of immigration status.
In addition to the handbook, the card game, “Rights!” was developed as a multiplayer game to teach young people how to exercise their constitutional rights while at school and during police encounters. In partnership with Playground City and Paul C. Perkins Bar Association, the artwork presented throughout the handbook and card game were created by Florida youth across the state.
“Students have rights and those rights do not stop at the schoolhouse gate,” said Michelle Morton, research coordinator and policy counsel at the ACLU of Florida. “Yet, too often students are often subjected to unreasonable searches, restrictions on their First Amendment rights, discrimination, and harassment. With the increasing role of police officers in schools, students also need to understand how to navigate interactions with police. It’s critical that young people understand they have rights and learn how to exercise those rights.”
“Through the power of play we can create safe spaces for youth to learn pretty much anything, including their rights and how to exercise them safely,” said Jasmyne Reese, executive director, Playground City. “Unfortunately, many folks learn the hard way, and usually after an injustice has already happened. Rights! Empowers youth, through knowledge and peace, to combat injustice before it takes place.”
In addition to the card game and handbook, the ACLU of Florida created a new curriculum for teachers and youth mentors to teach students and young people about their rights.
The We Have Rights Student Handbook, including the curriculum, can be found here: aclufl.org/wehaverights
The Rights! Card game can be found here: www.playgroundcity.org