The Rhode Island Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union plans to announce details of a lawsuit Wednesday over the state’s high school graduation policy. The suit stems from a new requirement that students show partial proficiency on standardized state testing to qualify for a diploma.

The ACLU and other groups have asked state officials to reconsider the policy, arguing that it overwhelmingly impacts minority and low income students.  Statewide, roughly 4,000 students failed to meet the testing bar during their junior year.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

One day after releasing a report showing that African Americans in the state are disproportionately arrested for marijuana possession, the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is out with a report showing a racial disparity in school suspensions. 

The civil rights group stopped short of calling it racial profiling, but says the issue is something education leaders need to study and correct.

file / RIPR

A handful of open government groups are urging Gov. Lincoln Chafee to block legislation that would shroud school safety plans in secrecy. 

The Rhode Island Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has released a report deeply critical of internet filtering software used in many public schools, saying it is tantamount to censorship. The report found that software blocks a wide variety of web sites including the Smithsonian Institutes and sites with information about anti-government groups.

“The excessive use of Internet filters by schools has seriously infringed on the First Amendment rights of students and teachers on a daily basis,” said the report’s author, Hillary Davis, in a written statement.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Feb 22, 2013

A snow storm is on its way.  Yes, again.  The ACLU says the state's Attorneys General are falling down on the job of enforcing the Open Meetings Law.     These stories and more on the RIPR Morning News Podcast, along with this week's Political Roundtable with guest Pablo Rodriguez. 

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