CLE seeks to protect the right of youth to remain in school through the development of materials designed for advocacy and collaborative strategies, training, and ongoing support. We rely upon an expanded network of advocates, including pro bono counsel, to protect students’ rights and to reduce the removal of students from instruction as a result of disciplinary exclusion or police and court referral in response to school-related behavior. CLE also collaborates with members of the school community- administrators, teachers, parents, students, other stakeholders – (1) to address policies and practices that adversely affect the school climate, target students based on race, ethnicity, gender, disability, undermine learning, push-out or encourage students to drop out of school; and (2) to ensure that school and district level policy changes are adopted and implemented.
CLE established a model Pro Bono Education Project in 2008, to provide high quality legal representation to students of color and from low-income families who are disproportionately excluded from school through suspension, expulsion, and criminalization of behavior by referrals to law enforcement. The project draws upon CLE’s significant experience representing students in administrative due process hearing. Examples of CLE's work on school discipline (PDF).