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VA Attorney Launches "No Attitude, No Answers" School Campaign to Educate Students About Their Rights




Written by: Michael Phillips


Empowering Virginia's Youth: The "No Attitude, No Answers" Campaign

NORFOLK, VIRGINIA — Virginia-based criminal defense attorney and dedicated mother, Amina Matheny-Willard, is blending over two decades of legal expertise with her practical parenting experiences to launch a pioneering initiative aimed at safeguarding civil rights within school walls. Dubbed "No Attitude, No Answers," this campaign is designed to enlighten students and their guardians about their constitutional rights when faced with school inquiries, advocating for a stance where silence is a right until appropriate advocacy is present.


From Legal Expertise to Parental Guidance

Matheny-Willard's initiative emerges from a deep-seated belief that involvement from parents or guardians is crucial during school investigations. Drawing from her rich background in legal practice and personal observations in public schools, she underscores the importance of students invoking their rights to remain silent until they can speak to those who can truly advocate for their best interests. "In many cases, those advocates may not necessarily be found among school personnel," Matheny-Willard notes, emphasizing the blend of her roles as both a legal professional and a mother in shaping this campaign.


The Stark Reality: Why Silence Matters

The necessity of the "No Attitude, No Answers" campaign is further highlighted by concerning statistics on the repercussions of not remaining silent. Research illustrates a disproportionate representation of racially minoritized youth in school-based arrests, with Black and Latinx students facing starkly higher rates of arrests compared to their enrollment percentages. Specifically, while only representing 40% of national public school enrollment, these groups account for 58% of school-based arrests. The disparity is even more alarming for Black girls, who, constituting only 17% of female public school enrollees, represent 43% of those arrested at school. These figures underline the critical need for awareness and education about rights within the school setting.


Engaging the Youth: A Call to Action

To further the reach and impact of her message, Matheny-Willard is not just stopping at education and awareness. She's calling on the students themselves to get involved creatively with the campaign through a logo design contest, offering a $1,000 prize to the winning entry. This initiative serves a dual purpose: highlighting the legal rights of students while actively engaging them in a cause that directly affects their lives. For more information about the program or the content click here.


Building a Foundation of Knowledge and Support

As the "No Attitude, No Answers" campaign unfolds, Matheny-Willard promises an array of resources and support for students and parents navigating these challenging waters. By providing a platform for education on constitutional rights and how to assert them respectfully, the campaign aims to foster a community that values and upholds the rights of its youngest members. For those interested in participating or learning more, contact details will be linked, inviting the community to join in this important conversation.


About Amina Matheny-Willard

Amina Matheny-Willard stands as a beacon of advocacy and justice in Virginia's legal landscape. With a career marked by significant victories in criminal defense and civil rights cases, she brings a wealth of experience and a deep passion for protecting individual rights. Through "No Attitude, No Answers," Matheny-Willard extends her commitment beyond the courtroom, empowering a new generation with the knowledge and confidence to stand up for their rights.


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