Students' Rights Briefings

Equal Protection

Section one of the Fourteenth Amendment states as follows:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Basically, the amendment guarantees all people (not just American citizens) equal protection of the law. For instance, it will protect you from being discriminated against because of your: race, color, ethnicity, sex, disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, age, or national origin.

All kids living in the United States have a right to a public education. Yes, you heard correctly: All kids! Not just American citizens have a right to an education. It would be against the law to discriminate these kids because of their citizenship status. In fact, the Pennsylvania Code Section 4.4 says this as well: “Access to educational programs shall be provided without discrimination on the basis of a student’s race, sex, color, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or national origin.” You cannot be discriminated against in any way by school officials because of the above reasons.

Equal Protection – In the Courts!