Texas Tribune by Jody Serrano
I was shocked when I began handling Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) cases at the number of young people who had school discipline related Class C misdemeanors. The Texas Legislature addressed this problem and enacted a law limiting the matters in which school police can charge students criminally.
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.
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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.