Beth Cruz

"I’m a Nashville Defender to fight for our city’s most vulnerable youth to stay in school and out of the juvenile justice system."

Meet the Defenders

Beth Cruz is the team leader of the Education Rights Project, a delinquency prevention and reduction initiative that provides advocacy for students with disabilities at risk of involvement in the juvenile justice system.  Beth joined the office after graduating from Vanderbilt University Law School in 2010.  Beth graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Rochester, where she earned her undergraduate degree in Biology and Health and Society.  Before attending law school, Beth taught Biology, Chemistry and General Science.

Beth provides representation in special education matters, school discipline appeals, truancy cases, and neglect/dependency proceedings.  Beth has been actively involved in state and local policy work, successfully advocating for improved protections for children facing truancy charges, working to decrease disproportionality in school discipline, and improving special education policy and training in Nashville Public Schools.  She regularly provides training in special education and school discipline law to attorneys, parents, educators, juvenile court personnel, mental health providers, and physicians.