Providing high-quality legal assistance & equal access to justice to low-income people...

Education Justice Program

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The Education Justice Program (EJP) is a new unit at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri funded by the Missouri Foundation for Health that was created to combat the School-to-Prison Pipeline.

“Public education has a pivotal role in maintaining the fabric of our society and in sustaining our political and cultural heritage; the deprivation of education takes an inestimable toll on the social, economic, intellectual, and psychological wellbeing of the individual, and poses an obstacle to individual achievement.”  Plyler v. Doe.  

Every child should have the opportunity to access a quality education, but the data shows that racial inequities exist in our education system, which create barriers for children of color to access a quality education.

EJP was created to advance systemic change in education by addressing the root causes of inequity using a racial justice lens through several impact advocacy tools, including affirmative litigation and community empowerment.  We firmly believe in a community lawyering model, which involves contributing our legal knowledge and skills to support initiatives that are identified by the community and to enhance the community’s power. In addition to litigating education issues, we have developed Know Your Rights Workshops concerning education issues targeted towards parents and students.

Our team is dedicated to educating families and the community about students’ rights to education because every child deserves the opportunity to pursue their academic goals.

We can help if your child is:

  • Being denied a quality education;
  • Not reading on grade level;
  • The subject of unfair discipline actions;
  • Not being provided with an education after a suspension or expulsion;
  • Having difficulty enrolling in school;
  • Being treated unfairly by the school.

Staff             

                Luz María Henríquez, Program Director

                Susannah Porter Lake, Attorney

                Clarissa Jackson, Social Worker        

Education Justice Program - In the News

Helpful Resources

Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: https://dese.mo.gov/

U.S. Department of Education on School Climate and Discipline: https://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/school-discipline/index.html

American Civil Liberties Union: https://www.aclu.org/ 

Social Justice Conference Presentation (September 30, 2017) - The School to Prison Pipeline: Shining the Light on Suspensions, Expulsions and Other "Push Outs"

 

Interested in hosting a Know Your Rights workshop?

Contact Clarissa Jackson at 314-256-8789 for more information.

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