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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Should we treat (minor) juvenile offenders this way?

You've heard the slogan, "Don't mess with Texas" ???

The title of this article is an example of it: "Texas school police ticketing students as young as 6."

Over six years, school police issued 1,000 tickets to elementary school children in 10 school districts.

For what?

Disrupting class, using profanity, misbehaving on a school bus, student fights, and truancy.

This used to mean a trip to the principal's office.

Today, such misbehavior results in a Class C misdemeanor ticket and a trip to court for thousands of Texas students and their families each year," says the Appleseed Texas report (PDF). It examined data from 22 of the state's largest school districts and eight municipal courts.

In the book I show how juveniles are more and more being treated as adults in the criminal justice system. But isn't this going a bit too far, especially during a time when state budgets are strapped.


  1. This is absolutely ridiculous. This shows how headstrong certain states are in punishing people no matter how serious the crime or how old the offender. I believe that because Texas is now labeling these juveniles as criminals, they will start acting more and more like criminals; primary vs secondary deviance. This was a poor move on Texas' part.

  2. I agree. But it fits in nicely with the "zero tolerance policies" imposed after Columbine, where kids were getting suspended for bringing plastic knives to school to cut their PB&J sandwiches for lunch!