Wanted to share this from my friends at the ACLU of Nevada:
ACLU Calls on Nevada Equal Rights Commission to
Protect Public School Students
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 15, 2012
CONTACT: Katrina Rogers, Legal Fellow: 702.366.1536×208 firstname.lastname@example.org
Staci Pratt, Legal Director: 702.366.1536×207 email@example.com
Las Vegas, NV – The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada (ACLU-NV) is requesting this week that the Nevada Equal Rights Commission (NERC) officially affirm, via declaratory order, its ability to examine and enforce Nevada’s antidiscrimination laws as they pertain to public school students.
“We are seeking this declaration because the Nevada Department of Education and Nevada public schools do not have adequate systems in place to address and eliminate discrimination complaints,” said ACLU Legal Fellow Katrina Rogers, who will present the ACLU’s request to NERC at a public hearing scheduled for February 17th in Las Vegas. “The law is clear that public schools fall under the legal definition of ‘public accommodations’. We are asking NERC to send a message to all Nevada public school students that if they suffer discrimination, there is somewhere for them to go.”
Under Nevada’s recently updated public accommodations law, which also covers businesses, hotels, hospitals, and other publicly-accessible locations, people are protected from discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry, and gender identity or expression.
In cooperation with a broad coalition of community partners, including the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, Gender Justice Nevada, the Nevada State Education Association, and GLSEN Southern Nevada, the ACLU-NV is submitting a letter to NERC stating, in part, that students facing discrimination “often…lack resources and the aid of adults who can help with these issues. Clearly defining public schools as public accommodations would provide students significant support from NERC. As an agency that is both within the state’s governing structure and is also not directly in the education system, NERC is in a unique position to empower Nevada’s students.”