Each week, we run down the hot civil liberties stories in Your Weekly Rights Review. This week we cover zero-tolerance in schools, the trespass policy that keeps 2,000 people away from the University of Michigan, and the politics of spamming your professors.
Zero Tolerance Rules Can Doom Good Students" from the Detroit Free Press
Local columnist Jeff Garrett writes about how zero-tolerance policies force good students out of school for minor offenses.
Drawing from our report Reclaiming Michigan's Throwaway Kids: Student's Trapped in the School-to-Prison Pipeline, Garrett highlights the case of a Detroit fourth-grader tossed out of school for eight months.
"University of Michigan's Campus Ban Reviewed After 2,000 Are Restricted" from the Detroit Free Press
The Freep covers our U of M undergraduate chapter's challenge to the university's overly broad trespass policy.
The lifetime ban has come under scrutiny for its vague language and lack of an appeals process. Interesting discussion in the comments for the article.
"Michigan School District Allows Sikh Students to Wear Religious Dagger to School" from Fox Detroit
In a victory for religious liberty, the Plymouth-Canton school district has reversed their ban on kirpans. The ceremonial daggers worn by Sikh students were banned late last year and classified as weapons, leaving Sikh students to be punished for following their religion.
The ACLU of Michigan wrote a letter recommending that the policy be changed and is glad to hear all Plymouth-Canton students are both safe and free to express their beliefs.
"MSU Ranked Among Worst Colleges for Free Speech" from the Michigan Messenger
Students at Michigan State University can be punished for sending more than 10 friends, classmates, or faculty the same e-mail within 48 hours under the school's anti-spam policy.
Any Spartans out there care to weigh in? Does Michigan deserve its top ten ranking?
National Civil Liberties News
"Surveillance Abuses: Report Details Pattern of Egregious Violations by the FBI" from the ACLU of Washington
A stunning new report reveals the extent of the FBI's surveillance on citizens, showing violations ranging from electronic searches without legal justification to outright falsification of documents.
Find out more about what the government can learn about you online from the Demand Your dotRights campaign.
Due out next week, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's memoir includes a controversial denial that the abuses at Abu Gharaib were a result of Defense Department policy.
The ACLU's deputy legal director Jameel Jaffer points out that "government documents show that the methods used at Abu Ghraib were the same ones Mr. Rumsfeld approved." Sure to be the first criticism among many.