LITTLE ROCK, Ark. —  As students in the Little Rock School District engage in a coordinated walkout to protest the state board of education’s decision to no longer recognize the Little Rock Education Association (LREA) as a negotiator for teachers, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas is calling on school administrators to respect the First Amendment rights of students.

“Public school students do not check their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse doors,” said ACLU of Arkansas interim executive director and legal director Holly Dickson. “School leaders must apply the rules equally, regardless of whether students have broken them to protest or for other reasons. The right to protest is a fundamental pillar of our democracy, and we urge school leaders to support – not unfairly punish – students who exercise it.” 

Students who believe they have been unjustly disciplined for expressing their views can contact the ACLU of Arkansas and file a complaint at:

Students can learn more about their free speech rights in public schools at: