Right to Education Project

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The Right to Education Project (REP) is the statewide education justice project of Legal Aid of North Carolina that fights for students in the public education system to get access to the quality education they have a right to, and to end the school to prison pipeline.

REP works through three main pathways to achieve greater education justice for students in North Carolina public schools.

Direct Advocacy

One-on-one advice, support, and/or legal representation for students and parents

Community Education

Presentations, trainings, and publications on students’ and parents’ rights related to education and public school

Community Lawyering

Advocacy in support of and in partnership with community groups & youth justice advocates to build parent and student power

REP works to protect North Carolina public school students, including those in charter schools, who are experiencing the following forms of school push out:

Enrollment & Access

Denials of educational access, including situations where students are denied enrollment, and/or timely, appropriate access to a sound basic education. This can include a school environment that prevents a student from being able to learn.

Suspension, Expulsion, & Alternative School Placements

Direct school push-out by exclusionary discipline, including situations where students face unlawful and/or excessive out-of-school suspension, expulsion, or punitive placement in an alternative school or program.

Special Education & Disability-related Needs

Indirect school push-out as a result of a school’s failure to address a student’s disability-related needs, including situations where a student with a disability isn’t being given needed services and/or is excluded from the school environment or their non-disabled peers.

Discrimination & Harassment

Indirect school push-out as a result of a school’s maintenance of a hostile environment, including situations where a school creates and/or fails to take steps to address a discriminatory hostile environment.

Managing Attorney

Jen Story

Supervising Attorney

Carlton Powell

Staff Social Worker

Katie Haberman

Staff Attorneys

Crystal Ingram

Hetali Lodaya (EJW Fellow)


Tyler Fleming

Law Associate

Rebecca Cathcart

If you are seeking LEGAL SUPPORT FOR YOUR STUDENT, contact the Legal Aid NC Helpline:

Legal Aid NC Helpline

Toll-Free: 1 (866) 219-LANC (5262)

8:30 AM – 1:30 PM, Monday – Friday
5:30 PM – 8:30 PM, Monday & Thursday

Apply for free help with civil (non-criminal) legal issues. Those 60 and older should call the Senior Helpline.

If you are looking for COMMUNITY EDUCATION, fill out the below form to learn more about trainings we can offer groups, and to request tabling, training, or office hours with our team.

The Right to Education Project's Newsletter