Thursday, August 29, 2013

New limits on Texas ISD cops giving tickets for breaking school rules

The Texas Tribune has a feature on one of the more significant juvenile justice reforms from the 83rd session: Eliminating most Class C tickets given to students for violations of school rules. The story by Jody Serrano ("School officers can no longer issue on-campus citations," Aug. 29) opens thusly:
Public school students in Texas who have chewed gum in class, talked back to teachers or disrupted class have often received citations from school police officers. Beginning in September, students who engage in such levels of misbehavior will face discipline in a different manner.  

While school administrators and teachers have traditionally handled student discipline, some school districts in Texas over the years have allowed school police officers to deal with certain types of misbehavior by charging students with Class C misdemeanors, a practice commonly referred to as student ticketing. Students charged must appear before a county or municipal judge and can face fines of up to $500 if found guilty by a judge.

Students who do not pay their fines could be arrested as soon as they turn 17 years old. Even if students pay the fines, the offenses could still appear on their criminal records.

The Legislature took steps this year toward decriminalizing such misbehavior at school with Senate Bill 393 by Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas. The measure prevents school police officers from issuing citations for misbehavior at school, excluding traffic violations. Officers can still submit complaints about students, but it will be up to a local prosecutor whether to charge the student with a Class C misdemeanor.

If students are charged, prosecutors can choose to make students get tutoring, do community service or undergo counseling before they get sent to court. According to the Texas Supreme Court, roughly 300,000 students each year are given citations for behavior considered a Class C misdemeanor, including disruption of class, disorderly language and in-school fighting.


Zane Becker said...

Wow, fining a kid $500 for chewing gum in class! All that tells me is that the teachers are horrible at maintaining control in their classrooms.

lsrtx said...

If the rules are in place they must be followed, if gum is not allowed, they know it in advance... they do it anyway, they get punishment, it's court with a hefty fine. Discipline has got to be enforced Fighting, drugs disorderly conduct, not following dress codes all are discipline problems. Teachers shouldn't be afraid of students, and they shouldn't have to put up with crap. Kids are easy led, they need to be controlled

Anonymous said...

Man, things have changed since I went to school. Getting fines for gum and dress codes? Talk about a police state.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

lsrtx, if students are so "easily led," why do teachers need cops to write tickets to control their classrooms? Don't think you've thought that argument through.

@9:17, thankfully they're changing some of it back.

Anonymous said...

lstrx is unfortunately the mentality of many that pushed sending kids to Court for petty reasons. For those of us who see this in Court we realize how misplaced this knee jerk reaction is and how foolishly these courts get clogged with petty kid matters. Almost all of these kids can be dealt with in school. More serious fighting and drug offenses are sent to juvenile County Courts. What this law does is make clear that too many kids are in courtrooms when they should either be in a alternative or regular school setting. Just a few days away from their friends while give a curriculum to do is shame enough for most kids to not act up again. The same criticism goes for kids that are suspended. Some parents can't afford to stay home with the kids and the kids are left at home to play video games or whatever. Unfortunately it sometimes takes a while for folks to figure out that a legislative knee jerk reaction was not a good idea. Their are other good alternatives in the school that can address these issues more effectively than a fine would.

Phillip Baker said...

Two points-
1) This is part of "zero tolerance" policies, which are stupid, one size fits all rules. Mainly they serve to keep education professionals from having to use judgment. Just call the cop and let him handle it.
2) Consequences- I know a young man who got a ticket for smoking a cigarette (not joint, cigarette) age 16. Got a hefty fine, which at 16 he had trouble paying and also taking seriously. Now he has spent years and several thousand dollars trying to get beyond that heinous crime, and still no end insight. It just won't go away, no matter how much he pays. Absurd. This has kept him from getting a license to drive, making work really hard to get. Over a cigarette smoked by a 16 yo! Talk about police state.

john said...

Thank goodness the rare common sense (or something) prevails, to limit the get-rich-off-children crowd from abetting the neglectful school administrations from abusing the very kids they get good tax money to educate.
Courts are plenty super crooked enough around here, without attacking family bank accounts per the children.
Teachers are sell-outs for not fighting their union and admins. Only when citizens realize how sold out the entire public school system became, do things change per pressure on the paid-off legislators, etc. Look at the crap of the Islamaniac literature put secretly into schools. The most hateful rich can always pay their way to torture the public. Where ARE our "representatives'? Well, Changes like this and against common core deceit and so on show there are still some REPS paying at least partial attention (just not nearly enough; and then they'll hide out for two years.
One thing seriously to do is take away the growing tons of tax money that allows the dirty supers and so on to grow the bureaucracy---money NEVER trickles down to the teachers & kids. Yet, STILL the teachers support the union.
crapya, it's captcha--

Anonymous said...

All they see is revenue. It has nothing to do with stopping kids from misbehaving.

Anonymous said...

Bring back the board and none of this would be a problem!!! It had no ill effects on the country for a century. America has taken the board and prayer out of school and the problems have mushroomed!!