Youth Rights

Young people are NOT second class citizens

Protecting the rights of young people

Young people have nearly the same rights as adults, with very few exceptions. Minors don’t enjoy the full protection of the Bill of Rights—you still have to listen to your parents, and for the most part, do what they say; obey the law; go to school; etc. But you are still protected by the Bill of Rights, and the older you get, the more it protects you.

We protect the rights of young people by defending their freedom of expression and association, protecting their freedom to learn and to weigh controversial ideas, working to guarantee equal access to education, ensuring fair treatment in disciplinary actions, challenging restrictive curfews, and fighting for fair and age-appropriate treatment by the justice system.

The San Diego ACLU runs a program called Youth Activists for Change, which seeks to empower high school youth to become civically engaged by building their community organizing skills and increasing their political awareness.

Students learn about immigrant rights, racial justice, LGBTQIA rights, student rights, civic engagement, and much more. Contact our Youth Organizer for details on how to get involved!


Youth Rights

P.R.O.M.I.S.E Act (AB 1007)

The Promoting Reinvestment and Oversight Measures for Individual Success and Empowerment (P.R.O.M.I.S.E.) Act will ensure the effective investment of Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act (JJCPA) grant dollars, which... Read More

Criminal Justice and Drug Policy

Stop Criminalizing Adolescent Behavior (AB 901)

In far too many places across California, juvenile probation has become a knee-jerk reaction to young people who are simply having trouble in school or at home but who haven’t been accused of a crime. Criminalizing... Read More

Education Equity

Time to end ‘willful defiance’ expulsions, suspensions in K-12 education

Imagine this scenario: A student speaks out of turn in class and is immediately referred to the principal’s office then suspended from school for three days. This is the harsh reality of a catch-all school... Read More

Youth Rights

Spread California Love for the Defiant Ones

By Amir Whitaker Define “defiance.” I’ve posed this statement to school administrators across the country after they’ve used it to kick students out of school. Some for dancing, breaking the dress... Read More


CPAT Statement on the selection of Assistant Chief David Nisleit as the City of San Diego’s next Chief of Police

SAN DIEGO – Today, Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced in a press conference his choice of Assistant Chief David Nisleit as the City of San Diego’s next Chief of Police. The Coalition for Police Accountability and... Read More