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October 25, 2012

A federal judge has blocked a discriminatory college tuition policy in Florida that the SPLC challenged on behalf of U.S. citizens living in the state but forced to pay out-of-state tuition because they were unable to prove their parents’ federal immigration status.

Children's Rights

Date Filed

August 06, 2012

African-American students in several Florida school districts were subjected to harsh disciplinary policies at a far higher rate than their white classmates. These students were often subjected to long-term suspensions, expulsions and even arrested at school for relatively minor misconduct.

July 17, 2012

Wendy Ruiz has lived in Florida her entire life. She graduated from a Florida public high school and enrolled at Miami Dade College. But because she can’t prove the federal immigration status of her parents, she must pay out-of-state tuition, which can more than triple the cost of a college education in Florida.

Criminal Justice Reform

Date Filed

March 20, 2012

The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal class action lawsuit on behalf of Polk County youth, which charges that Polk County detains youth charged as juveniles under adult standards. It also charges that Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd allows guards to brutalize children and fails to provide these youth with adequate educational and rehabilitative services.

February 16, 2012

In 2011, the Florida legislature passed a law that set juvenile justice back 40 years. The law, known as SB 2112, allows sheriffs to house young people in adult jails without the protections developed over the years for children in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice.