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Hannah Rushton

The Project

Hannah’s (she/her/hers) project seeks to advocate for children with learning disabilities by providing skills-based, self-advocacy workshops and direct representation to support families in navigating discriminatory education systems throughout California, with a special focus on the Antelope Valley region of Los Angeles.

In the Antelope Valley, a remote and underserved region in northern Los Angeles County, school districts systematically discriminate against Black students and students with disabilities by disproportionately disciplining them, underserving them, and then segregating them from their peers through needlessly restrictive placements, suspensions, expulsions, and transfers to alternative schools. This results in a staggering number of students not accessing the public education opportunities and resources to which they are entitled to under state and federal law. Parents and students are the most effective advocates, but they are given little to no information on how to advocate within school systems geared towards pushing them out. This project addresses this access to justice gap, providing parents and students with the information and resources they need to effectively advocate.

Hannah’s personal and professional experiences in the education field, as well as her work with families in the Antelope Valley during law school, inspire her interest in education law and motivate her to serve this community.

Fellowship Plans

During her Fellowship, Hannah will facilitate skills-based workshops to train parents, students, and community members on relevant education law and self-advocacy strategies, as well as develop and publicize a bank of self-advocacy materials to be available state-wide. Additionally, Hannah will represent Antelope Valley families in special education and student disciplinary cases and train pro bono advocates on education law topics to increase access to justice for families in California.

As a first-generation graduate and former educator, I have felt and seen the transformative power of public education as well as the obstacles hindering meaningful access to it. By collaborating with parents and students, I hope to help more students access their education.

Hannah Rushton /
2024 Equal Justice Works Fellow