Dear Hazelwood Students, Parents and Community Members,

We believe that young people hold the future of democracy in their hands.

Here in Hazelwood, you are raising the next generation of leaders, world changers, and role models. Their futures should be as promising as their aspirations. We’ve already witnessed the strength and conviction of these bright young adults. We want to be sure their educational environment helps support their path.

Defending the First Amendment – and the rest of the U.S. Constitution – is at the heart of what we do at the ACLU of Missouri. We believe that freedom lies in protecting the rights of allMissourians, regardless of age, race, religion or gender. Like you, we believe that investing in your students is the best way to invest in a more just and free future.

We are working with the Hazelwood School District to develop a collaborative, communicative environment for the whole Hazelwood school community to acknowledge and address the needs of students, parents, and administrators.

Tonight, the community workshop will examine First Amendment rights and students’ rights in school.

Nearly 50 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Tinker v. Des Moines that students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” We want to be sure that your students – the next generation of our community – are prepared with the tools they need to stand tall in their convictions and rights.

In our communities and in our schools, it’s in the best interest of all citizens, children to adults, to understand their constitutional rights. We will continue to work with community organizations interested in making sure we protect freedom for all. Stay tuned for more ways you can be involved in this process.


Jeffrey A. Mittman
Executive Director
ACLU of Missouri