Sunday, January 9, 2011

New study shows African American students go to court more for classroom misbehavior

A new study from Texas Appleseed indicates that African American students in Texas are referred more often to the court system than other students.

The report states:

"Misbehave in a Texas classroom and, chances are, you won’t find yourself scrawling rote across a blackboard after eighth period. Instead, the criminal justice system is increasingly the destination for mischief-makers — some as young as 6 — in the state’s public schools, according to a new study from Texas Appleseed that analyzes data collected over a five-year period between 2001 and 2007. As school districts face deep funding cuts during the 2011 legislative session, the report sheds light on what is a rapidly growing part of public school budgets: campus security.

For children in many districts throughout the state, conduct like disrupting class, using profanity, acting up on a school bus, fighting in the hallway and truancy is enough for a class C misdemeanor ticket — an offense that can carry a fine between $60 and $500 and remain on a student’s criminal record. And those students are disproportionately African-American or in special education classes."

Texas State Senator John Whitmire: “It’s just nuts,” he says, “There just has to be a recognition that this is out of control.” ..."I think we need to go back to the drawing board,” he says, “In an effort to have safe classes, we've gone overboard.”

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