Rethinking the Criminalization of Students’ Conduct

Texas along with many other states allows for the criminalization of conduct by students in school. I am not saying that they should not be held accountable for "bad behavior" but in general, I believe that many cops are quite over-zealous… especially many who work in ISDs, and that the quick reaction to criminalize and cite or arrest students is not the best way of handling most incidents on school property. After all, aside from those officers that are close to retiring, how many officers actually work in schools rather than in a larger department or on the street: those who were unsuccessful dealing with the public (bad attitude, etc), those who are not physically fit enough and thus are at a greater risk to themselves or those they are "protecting and serving", or those who are such ego-maniacs that they want to push kids around….

I’m sure this post will upset many people and I agree that it does not portray school district cops in the best light, but this is based on experiences I have witnessed personally and heard from others when dealing with school district policing.

Examples of these hasty responses are the issuing of citations to students for "disrupting a classroom". Really, if a teacher and of course the school itself cannot handle "behavior problems", perhaps they should not be in a classroom or managing a school district. Other examples include writing citations for Disorderly Conduct: Language, when a student uses obscene language on campus… again, this is not criminal.

All in all, it appears that there may be a movement afoot to change some of these knee-jerk reactions and responses as the legislature is considering removing some of these matters as crimes… or, officers could just use common sense and not issue citations and criminalize these behaviors… what is that called, common sense and discretion?