Protecting the Right to Learn

LCCR defends the right of every New Orleans child to real educational opportunity.

Every child has the right to an excellent education, and commitment to school is one of the best protections against involvement in the juvenile justice system. But, in New Orleans, some schools have enrollment policies that do not welcome the most vulnerable children.  Some schools don’t help every child learn by providing high-quality supports, including special education services.  And too many schools use exclusionary discipline too freely, suspending and expelling students rather than committing to teaching every child.

Real educational equity means that every child has an equal opportunity to enroll in high-performing schools and access to high-quality special education services. Educational equity also means the replacement of unnecessary exclusionary discipline with restorative approaches and positive behavioral supports.

Here’s are some of the things that LCCR is doing to promote educational equity:

  • We are working to reform exclusionary discipline policies.  And we’ve had some success.  After we collaborated with New Orleans’ Recovery School District on new expulsion policies in 2014, expulsion rates fell significantly in the 2014-2015  school year.  Read about it here.
  • We advocate directly on behalf of the education rights of children in New Orleans’ juvenile justice system — helping them to enroll, representing them at expulsion hearings, and ensuring that they have the right special education services.  We also provide support and supervision for Stand Up for Each Other (SUFEO), an organization at students Tulane and Loyola Law Schools who advocate for youth at expulsion hearings and in suspension appeals.
  • We provide professional development and training for the stakeholders—educators, parents, social workers, and youth advocates—who can keep children in school and out of the justice system.  To learn about our professional development sessions on the intersection of the juvenile justice system and the school system, please contact Meghan Garvey.