One Client's School Experience

“Susan” was a straight-A student living in a stable, loving foster home until she was expelled from school for non-threatening and non-violent behavior that occurred on her thirteenth birthday. After the incident, the school district referred Susan's case to the local juvenile court, whereupon she spent five hours in a solitary holding cell. Permanently expelled, facing juvenile delinquency charges, and forced to leave a loving foster home, Susan attempted to enroll in another school district, but was rebuffed due to the expulsion. Barton Center students administratively challenged the expulsion, enabling Susan to enroll in the new school district and return to her strong path of learning. Additionally, the Barton Center is contesting the legality of the expulsion in federal court, with the aim of enabling Susan to return to the school district where she had a loving foster home.


Defending Clients Who Have Been Searched and Interrogated at School:  A Guide for Juvenile Defenders
Authors: Katayoon Majd, Randee Waldman, and Wendy Wolf
Publisher: National Juvenile Defender Center, 2009

This guide, developed by the National Juvenile Defender Center in partnership with the Barton Juvenile Defender Clinic at Emory Law School and the Youth Advocacy Project of the Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services, provides a general overview of the law governing school searches and interrogations. It includes practice tips for evidence that is inadmissible because it was obtained in violation of clients’ rights.

Educational Stability for Youth in Foster Care
Author: Beth Locker
Publisher: Barton Child Law and Policy Center, Emory Law School, 2004

This fact sheet provides an overview of the McKinney Vento Act provisions that address the educational rights of homeless youth, including many children in the custody of the Georgia Department of Human Services Division of Family and Children Services.

External Resources

The Legal Center for Foster Care and Education serves as a national technical assistance resource and information clearinghouse on legal and policy matters affecting the education of children in the foster care system.