You may ask why I am weighing in on school discipline issues. How does that relate to immigration?
For six months, I have been working with young people who are applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). I have been appalled by the number of young people with misdemeanor convictions received for school discipline issues for which they most often plead guilty without legal representation. This causes problems and expense in the DACA process and in other areas of their lives.
Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson has proposed changes to this system:
Ticketing for nonviolent misdemeanors forces students to go to court, Jefferson told the Senate Jurisprudence Committee on Tuesday. In addition to being a waste of resources, he said, that practice makes it more difficult for students to turn their lives around. “What used to be, in our day, a trip to the principal's office now lands you in court,” he said. “We're overcriminalizing low-level, nonviolent offenses in the classroom ... and then they're on a path to our criminal justice system.”
I applaud Chief Justice Jefferson for taking on this important issue and proposing a solution.
See the complete story in the Texas Tribune by Maurice Chammah.