Street Law, Drug Testing and Free Speech Are Among Topics of Upcoming ACLU-TN Students' Rights Conference

Affiliate: ACLU of Tennessee
October 20, 2010 12:00 am

ACLU Affiliate
ACLU of Tennessee
Media Contact
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States


NASHVILLE — “Youth In Action: Know Your Rights, Make Some Change” is title of this year’s Students’ Rights Conference sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee (ACLU-TN). This free conference is open to public and private high school students from across the state and will be held on Saturday, October 30, 2010 at the Youth Opportunity Center in Nashville.

The conference will focus on young people’s rights, both in school and in the community. Conference topics will include freedom of speech and expression, privacy, interactions with the courts and law enforcement, LGBT rights and the tools needed for making change.

“The conference brings together a diverse group of students to discuss their rights, responsibilities and civil liberties concerns as they prepare to become active participants in their community,” said Hedy Weinberg, ACLU-TN Executive Director. “Past attendees have said that the conference taught them ‘about rights [they] didn’t know [they] had and how to exercise and protect them.'”

Confirmed speakers to date include Metro Nashville Public Schools School Resource Officer D’Mitri Cannon, Metro Nashville Juvenile Court Magistrate Sheila Calloway, Baptist Joint Committee blogger Don Byrd, Vanderbilt Law Professor Terry Maroney, Metro Nashville Juvenile Public Defender Kyle Mothershead, First Amendment Center Scholar David Hudson, ACLU-TN Communications Manager Lindsay Kee and ACLU LGBT Project Senior Counsel Christine Sun. In addition, recent high school graduate Constance McMillen, who successfully challenged her Mississippi high school after they cancelled the prom rather than let her wear a tuxedo and bring her girlfriend, will speak about her experience.

According to Marissa Mamon, ACLU-TN Intern and conference organizer, “Young people’s voices are too often overlooked in efforts to solve school or community problems. This conference will empower high school students to stand up and be counted. I would have liked to attend a conference like this when I was in high school.”

Weinberg continued, “ACLU-TN, working with students, consistently advocates for greater protections for young people through our public education and advocacy work, as well as through our legislative lobbying and litigation. It is exciting to join with the next generation who will ensure that the protections of the Constitution are upheld for all Tennesseans.”

ACLU-TN is the only statewide organization dedicated to protecting and promoting the constitutional guarantees of the Bill of Rights. An affiliate of the national ACLU, ACLU-TN is a private, non-profit, non-partisan membership organization.

Student registration is from 9:30-10:00 a.m. on the day of the conference. The program will begin at 10:00 a.m. and conclude at 3:30 p.m. Lunch and snacks will be provided free of charge. The Youth Opportunity Center is located at 1702 Charlotte Avenue in Nashville.

While there is no cost to attend, students must pre-register for the conference online at or by calling the ACLU-TN office at (615) 320-7142. More information can be found on the Events tab at

By completing this form, I agree to receive occasional emails per the terms of the ACLU’s privacy policy.

The latest in Smart Justice

ACLU's Vision

The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.

Learn More About Smart Justice

Smart Justice issue image

The ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice is an unprecedented, multiyear effort to reduce the U.S. jail and prison population by 50% and to challenge racism in the criminal legal system.