Texas Senate Approves Bill to Limit Ticketing Youth, Education Week
Faced with a documented pattern of teenagers pushed into the criminal justice system for acting out in class, Texas lawmakers on Thursday advanced a measure to start decriminalizing youthful misbehavior.
The Senate unanimously approved a bill that would limit the practice of issuing tickets for minor classroom offenses. The measure, which still must clear the House, would replace misdemeanor citations with counseling referrals and punishments such as community service performed on the school grounds.
“When you have these tickets, you end up having the kids caught up in the system for little violations that should be taken care of in the school,” Sen. Royce West, a Dallas Democrat who wrote the bill, told The Associated Press.
If this bill passes the Texas House, finally schools will be limited in how they deal with children acting out in class. In too many districts, an infraction as small as writing on a school desk is a state jail felony and is treated as so by the school, instead of dealt with inside the school system. When I was little I remember other students having detention, time out, signing the bad book, or suspensions. While children do need to behave in class so that all students may be able to pay attention and learn, schools can implement discipline programs within their walls, instead of taking the easy way out and calling the police.
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