Friday, December 2, 2022


Group wants rollbacks of some IA voting restrictions; RSV, Flu, COVID: KY faces "Triple Threat" this winter; Appeals court halts special master review of documents seized at Mar-a-Lago.


The Senate passes a bill forcing a labor agreement in an effort to avoid a costly railway worker strike. The House Ways and Means Committee has former President Trump's tax returns in hand. The Agriculture Committee is looking at possible regulations for cryptocurrency following the collapse of cryptocurrency giant FTX. The Supreme Court will be reviewing the legality of Biden s student debt relief program next year. Anti-semitic comments from Ye spark the deletion of tweets from the the House Judiciary Committee GOP's Twitter account.


The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and if Oklahoma is calling to you, a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

Lakota Racial Justice and Religious Freedom Case Headed for Trial


Thursday, December 16, 2021   

ROSEBUD, Neb. -- A lawsuit accusing a Nebraska school district of violating a Lakota family's First Amendment rights and unlawful racial discrimination is headed to court.

The suit was filed after a school employee cut two girls' hair during school lice checks, even after the parents raised concerns.

Rose Godinez, interim legal director for the ACLU of Nebraska, the group representing the family associated with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, explained hair is considered a sacred symbol that should only be cut by specific people under certain conditions.

"The family explicitly told the school district to stop cutting the students' hair, because it violated their beliefs," Godinez explained. "And despite their pleas, the school district continued to cut the two girls' hair multiple times."

A federal judge recently rejected the Cody Kilgore Unified School District's qualified immunity defense, which shields public officials from liability, clearing the way for the case to proceed to trial.

School officials have claimed educators were simply doing their job protecting public health. The school's written head-lice policy includes no mention of cutting hair.

Godinez noted even though school employees were on clear notice their actions violated students' religious beliefs, the policy was only applied to Native American students. She added the events also brought back historic trauma for the family, when Native American children were forced to assimilate in boarding schools.

"That has been very heavy for them, but they have remained strong in seeking justice not only for their two daughters but also for all Native American students in our schools right now," Godinez stressed.

The judge dismissed a claim the students' due-process protections were violated, but wrote claims focused on free exercise of religion and racial discrimination should move forward. Godinez acknowledged she is looking forward to arguing the case in court, because she believes all students have a right to live true to their beliefs and cultures at school.

Disclosure: ACLU of Nebraska contributes to our fund for reporting on Civil Rights, Criminal Justice, Immigrant Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
According to the Brennan Center, at least one bill with a provision restricting access to voting was introduced in the legislature of every state except Vermont in 2021. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Iowa League of Women Voters plans to ask the Iowa Legislature to rethink the voting restrictions put in place prior to last month's midterm electi…


Agriculture groups and government agencies aren't slowing down in trying to convince farmers to use more sustainable practices such as cover crops…

Social Issues

Winter is here, leaving many older South Dakotans vulnerable to social isolation. But a growing body of research, as well as opportunities, shows …

Almost 60% of Black students and 50% of Latino students experience food insecurity, compared with 30% of their non-Hispanic white peers, according to a study by the Wisconsin HOPE Lab. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

By Jala Forest / Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan Reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration Nearly 40% of college students a…


The Biden administration has proposed a rule to limit methane flaring from oil and gas development on public lands. The rule would impose royalty …

Each year in the United States, an estimated 58,000 to 80,000 children younger than 5 are hospitalized due to RSV infection, according to the CDC. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The flu, COVID and RSV are rapidly spreading in Kentucky, and health experts say that's a problem for hospitals, schools and the state's vulnerable …


As its 125th anniversary nears, the Connecticut Audubon Society has released a report detailing the effectiveness of conservation efforts in the …

Social Issues

2022 was a banner year for women elected as governor. Nearly one-third of America's governors will be women next year, which is a record. Iowa …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021