Legislation

PRIVACY: Social Media Privacy in Education (SB 344) (2013)

A companion bill to HB 2654, which prohibits employers from compelling access to an applicant or employee’s social media account, SB 344 extends this prohibition to Oregon colleges and universities, restricting their access to applicants’ or students’ private social media accounts.

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EQUAL PROTECTION: Require Schools to Adopt Fair School Discipline Policies (HB 2192) (2013)

We supported HB 2192, which promotes the types of behavior and discipline practices in schools that focus on keeping students safe and keep students learning.

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PRIVACY: Prohibit Location Tracking of Students (HB 2386) (2013)

In November 2012, a student at a Texas school was kicked out of school for failure to wear a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag that the school had distributed for tracking attendance. RFID tags are tiny computer chips that are more commonly used to track everything from cattle to commercial products moving through warehouses. The National ACLU has been commenting on the use of RFID technology since 2005, concerned that privacy and data security issues may well outweigh any potential benefit.

Hearing of the Texas example, Representatives Phil Barnhart (D-Central Lane and Linn Counties) and Lew Frederick (D-Portland) and Senator Betsy Close (R-Albany) were concerned, as well. They introduced HB 2386 to protect the privacy of Oregon students. The bill outlawed completely the use of RFID location tracking of students in Oregon schools.

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RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: Mandate Daily Opportunity for Pledge of Allegiance in Schools (HB 3014) (2013)

Representative Sal Esquivel (R-Medford) introduced HB 3014, which would have required Oregon public schools, including public charter schools, to hang a U.S. flag in every classroom and to provide a daily opportunity for a student or teacher to lead the students in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. Under current law, schools are required to provide this opportunity once weekly.

The ACLU of Oregon has had long standing concerns about this statute, primarily because we  believe it is vulnerable to a challenge under the Oregon constitution’s religious freedom provision, Article I, section 5. The Pledge of Allegiance includes “One Nation under God” and yet our constitution states in part: “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury for the benefit of any religious (sic), or theological institution…”

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IMMIGRANTS' RIGHTS: Provide Equal Access to Higher Education to Immigrant Youth (HB 2787) (2013)

Immigrant rights advocates had been working for over a decade on the issue until the Legislature finally passed HB 2787 this session, promoting equal access to education for all eligible Oregonians regardless of citizenship status. Introduced with strong bipartisan support from members in both the House and the Senate, HB 2787 enables Oregonians who have grown up in Oregon but are unable to prove lawful presence in the country to still apply for in-state tuition at Oregon colleges and universities.

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CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Statute of Limitations for Certain Crimes against Minors (HB 4100) (2012)

The statute of limitations serves an important function in the criminal justice system. Its purpose and design is to permit both the prosecution and the defense to present a case before the evidence gets stale.

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CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Expunction of Juvenile Records Involving Prostitution (HB 4146) (2012)

This bill was a small but important change to the statutes that recognized that minors who are charged with prostitution are not criminals but rather victims themselves.

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CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Consumption of Controlled Substances by Minors (SB 1557) (2012)

SB 1557 was brought forward by Senator Chris Telfer (R-Bend) at the request of a few police officers in Bend. The officers wanted to address incidents of high school students coming to school under the influence of drugs – most often, marijuana. They claim that their officers in schools do not have the tools they need to penalize these students – punishment that they see as necessary to early intervention and treatment for substance abuse.

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RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: Pledge of Allegiance in Schools (HB 3604) (2011)

Currently, school districts are required to provide their students with the opportunity to recite the Pledge of Allegiance once a week. HB 3604 was introduced to expand the current requirement by allowing for daily recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance.

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