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Children's Rights
Landmark Case

Date Filed

October 19, 2011

The state of Florida denied in-state college tuition rates to U.S. citizens living in the state but unable to prove the lawful immigration status of their parents – an unconstitutional policy that more than tripled the cost of tuition. The SPLC filed a federal lawsuit that ended the practice.

Children's Rights

Date Filed

November 16, 2010

Staff members at the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility in Mississippi abused their authority by selling drugs to the youths in their care, brutally beating them and even engaging in sexual relationships with them. The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the teenagers and young men held at the facility. A groundbreaking settlement agreement was reached that will ensure children and teens incarcerated in Mississippi will no longer be housed in the privately run prison or subjected to brutal solitary confinement.

Children's Rights
Active Case

Date Filed

July 11, 2016

Mississippi funded its charter schools through an unconstitutional scheme that diverted public tax dollars from traditional public schools. The SPLC filed a lawsuit in state court to end the funding system.

The lawsuit called for the court to strike down the funding provisions of the...

Children's Rights
Immigrant Justice
Active Case

Date Filed

May 16, 2016

Officials with Florida’s Collier County schools effectively barred immigrant children with limited English skills from enrolling in high school and pushed them into an adult English program that offered no opportunity to earn credit toward a high school diploma – a violation of state and federal...

Children's Rights
Active Case

Date Filed

May 23, 2017

Mississippi has repeatedly violated a nearly 150-year-old, legally binding obligation to operate a “uniform system of free public schools” for all children, an obligation placed on the state as a condition of rejoining the Union after the Civil War.

Mississippi enshrined this requirement...

Children's Rights

Date Filed

May 18, 2017

As part of budget cuts across state departments, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant ordered nearly $20 million in funding cut from public schools in February and March of 2017.

The SPLC filed a suit, on behalf of two legislators, contending that the governor lacked authority for the action...

Children's Rights

Date Filed

July 12, 2018

Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission, an entity created every 20 years to revise the state’s laws, attempted to place a constitutional amendment on the state’s 2018 ballot that would have eliminated the duties of school boards to regulate public schools in their districts, including...

Children's Rights
Active Case

Date Filed

October 17, 2018

After the U.S. Department of Education failed to fully comply with public records requests that could shed light on the gun lobby’s possible role in the department not standing in the way of states and school districts using federal funds to arm educators, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of the...

Children's Rights
Active Case

Date Filed

November 29, 2018

In 2018, the Duval County School Board in Florida began hiring armed civilians, known as “school safety assistants,” to patrol the district’s elementary schools. The program threatened the safety of thousands of students by opening the door for inadequately trained assistants – who are not law...

Children's Rights

Date Filed

May 10, 2019

On behalf of six students at the Sophie B. Wright Charter School in Orleans Parish, La., the SPLC sought an injunction in state court to halt disciplinary actions resulting from a senior prank. Following a water balloon fight that caused no serious injuries, the students were suspended for five...

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