Student ticketing outlawed in Texas schools

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

As thousands of Central Texas children go back to class, schools have one less option to discipline students.

Two new similar Texas laws go into effect next week that stop campus police from writing tickets to any student under the age of 17.

"I think there had come a point in time in school district policing that the officers may have been called in first," said Austin ISD Police Chief Eric Mendez.

The intent is for Texas schools to handle the students first using their own code of conduct instead of issuing them a ticket for a Class C misdemeanor for things like fighting, drugs, or disrupting class.

There's been a push to curb student ticketing for some time. Two years ago, KXAN reported on some of the small disruptions that sent students to court -- everything from a student putting on perfume in class to throwing a paper airplane. The public interest law center Texas Appleseed has studied the issue and published reports full of data. It says the new laws are a major step toward decriminalizing minor misbehavior in school.

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