The Juvenile Rights Project, a new program from the Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) of Loyola Law School, launched this past Monday and was a huge success. Several Loyola Law students volunteered, including PILF co-chair Kyle Tracy, and received training before the official outing. The volunteers visited Culver City High School in Culver City, California, where volutneers gave classroom presentations to high school students on the subject of civil rights in police encounters.
The focus of the presentation primarily involved what the police can and cannot do and how best to deal with the police in certain encounters. Volunteers also emphasized what the students’ rights are, including how much of a right they have to refuse searches of different kinds, how to assert their rights, and even how best to address the officers to defuse the situation in the first place. In order to keep things engaging, the presentations incorporated various role playing activities.
Carlos Valverde, a Culver City High School Teacher, had this to say about the Project:
“Based on the feedback from students today, they loved it! Students shared [that] they enjoyed the skits as important to convey the message; they were grateful for the cards they were give[n] and most of all, they were grateful for the information. They truly seemed empowered! One student said that the presentation was perhaps the most useful thing she’s learned throughout all of high school!”
The Juvenile Rights Project began in 2010 with the help of PILF. Loyola students receive training from the well-known Los Angeles based civil rights attorney, Colleen Flynn, and the Youth Justice Coalition. Once trained, these students will be sent in teams of two or more to present to classes in participating high schools.
If you would like to volunteer, or would like more information, please contact us.