Sarah Hinger & Sylvia Torres-Guillén: Instead of counselors or other school and community-based supports stepping in to support and help these kids, school staff would effectively turn students over to the criminal justice system.
Sarah Hinger & Sylvia Torres-Guillén
Sarah Hinger is a Staff Attorney with the ACLU Racial Justice Program, where her work focuses on education and youth justice. Her recent work includes representing plaintiffs in Kenny v. Wilson, challenging a vague South Carolina law making it a crime to disturb a school. This law is applied far more frequently to Black students, and was invoked in the arrest of a student and plaintiff in the case, when she spoke out in protest while witnessing a classmate violently ripped from her desk by a school police officer. Prior to joining the ACLU, Sarah was a Trial Attorney with the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Educational Opportunities Section, where she received the Assistant Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award. At the Civil Rights Division, she litigated issues of desegregation, discriminatory school discipline, classroom equity, discrimination against English language learners and immigrant and refugee students, and Title IX. Sarah previously served as a Karpatkin Fellow with the ACLU Racial Justice Program and a fellow and staff attorney with the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. She completed her J.D. at Columbia Law School, her M.Phil. at the University of Cambridge, and her B.A. at the University of Virginia.
Sylvia Torres-Guillén is the ACLU of California's Director of Education Equity, leading the ACLU's statewide focus on educational equity and students' rights. She manages a statewide team, leading, creating, and implementing a vision to promote civil liberties, civil rights, and racial, economic, and equal justice in education in California through legislation, litigation, and advocacy. Sylvia is dedicated to protecting the constitutional rights of all children and students to ensure an equal, equitable, and excellent educational opportunity for all, focusing on vulnerable students, including students of color, LGBTQ youth, immigrant students, and low income students. She is lead counsel on ACLU’s education equity litigation, including lead counsel for Community Coalition v. Los Angeles Unified School District, a lawsuit seeking to compel LAUSD to provide the proper amount of funding and services to high-need students. The matter resulted in a settlement to provide over $150 million dollars to 50 of LAUSD's highest need schools.