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As children across Serbia enjoy their summer break, for some children the next school year can’t start soon enough. It may be their first chance to get an education. The Serbian government formally pledged in June that all children with…
Marina  [pseudonym], a 4-year-old girl with developmental disabilities who spent ten months of her life in an institution, with her foster sister. © 2015 Jasenko Rasol for Human Rights Watch
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On March 20, Utah officially repealed an anachronistic provision of state law that prohibited the "advocacy of homosexuality" in public schools.   The repeal is an important milestone, and will make a huge difference for Utah…
LGBT Rainbow Flag
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It Gets Better, Just Not Here

Over the past year, I’ve traveled around the United States interviewing students, teachers, and administrators about the issues that LGBT people face in schools. The stories I heard were sobering. Despite some progress in laws and attitudes,…
Josh Greer, a student who has been the target of bullying and discrimination in school, writes in his journal in his bedroom in Cache Country, UT, October 2016.
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On Friday, the Obama Administration made headlines when the Department of Education and Department of Justice issued guidance explaining how public schools should respect the rights of transgender students.  The federal guidance has…
A sign protesting a recently introduced North Carolina law restricting bathroom access for transgender people, in Durham, North Carolina.
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The American Civil Liberties Union recently released footage of an 8-year-old student in Kenton County, Kentucky, shackled and crying in pain. In the video, the third-grader (named only “SR”), is restrained by a pair of handcuffs around his biceps,…
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When I went to college, I chose a highly regarded university with a strong tradition as a Jesuit institution. I was pleased with my undergraduate education at Boston College, but I still lament that my alma mater denies students access to contraceptive…
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Imagine for a moment that you are the father of a 13-year old girl with autism, living in Nepal. You approach public and private schools alike and are repeatedly told that the school can't handle your child. So instead, you join with other parents of…
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Krishna, a 12-year old boy with a developmental disability, spends his entire day locked in a small room. His mother told me, “I can’t just look after him—my other child will miss his bus, everything will be in disarray.” She takes Krishna outside to see…
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When grocery shopping for my children, I often ask myself, "Is this cereal healthy?" or "Are these carrots organic?" But until recently, I never thought to ask, "Did a 12-year old pick these strawberries?" Child labor is usually portrayed as a problem…
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Over two hundred thousand kids are punished in US schools each year by being paddled. One in five of them has a disability. No child should be paddled in school but it is hard to imagine anything more outrageous than paddling or hitting children because…
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By Alice Farmer and Nsombi Lambright, published in The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Mississippi)   All parents want their children to attend safe schools where the focus is on learning and students of all races are treated fairly. Unfortunately, after months…
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College students are headed home for the summer, leaving campuses to the alumni for a few days of remember-when revelry. Welcome to the annual ritual that has university development officers across the country sharpening their utensils. May I pour you…