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Children's Rights

Date Filed

October 01, 2008

Students with disabilities in Hillsborough County, Fla., were deprived of special education services required by law and subjected to harsh punishment that pushed them along a path to incarceration. The Southern Poverty Law Center, joined by the Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities, filed a class action administrative complaint to bring Hillsborough County schools into compliance with federal special education law and end practices that exclude or isolate children with disabilities.

Children's Rights

Date Filed

May 30, 2007

The Holmes County School District in Mississippi was systematically violating the rights of students with disabilities by failing to provide them with the educational services required under federal law. The district has agreed to a plan that will help ensure students with disabilities are identified and given educational services required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act.

Criminal Justice Reform

Date Filed

March 21, 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.

Children's Rights

Date Filed

July 11, 2007

The Southern Poverty Law Center filed suit on behalf of mentally ill girls living at the Columbia Training School who were shackled, physically and sexually abused, and provided with inadequate mental health treatment.

Criminal Justice Reform
Immigrant Justice

Date Filed

February 07, 2013

When Alabama legislators revised the state’s anti-immigrant law in 2012, they passed a law requiring the state to maintain an online list of immigrants who are detained by law enforcement, who appear in court for any violation of state law, and who unable to prove they are not “unlawfully present aliens.” It provided no means for people to be removed from this “black list” if the listing is an error or if their immigration status changes. The Southern Poverty Law Center and its allies filed a federal lawsuit to stop this state-sanctioned “blacklisting” of immigrants, which could encourage harassment and violence.

LGBTQ Rights
Active Case

Date Filed

August 14, 2012

When Janet Jenkins’ former partner disappeared with their daughter during a lengthy custody battle, Jenkins filed a lawsuit against her and others alleging they had conspired and aided in the international kidnapping. The SPLC joined the case and, with the assistance of co-counsel, successfully...

Children's Rights

Date Filed

March 10, 2010

Mississippi's mental health system is failing children from low-income households. The state fails to invest in community-based services and instead pumps the bulk of its resources into ineffective, expensive institutions. Parents are often forced to choose between hospitalizing their children or foregoing mental health services altogether.

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...

Immigrant Justice
Active Case

Date Filed

July 20, 2018

The Trump administration used detained immigrant children as bait to arrest immigrants who come forward to sponsor them for release – a scheme that has left thousands of children detained in detention facilities across the country. The SPLC, the Legal Aid Justice Center, and the law firm of...

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