Cut the Line, Do The Time: Texas Schools Increasingly Using Criminal Citations Against Unruly Children

We have been following the general trend toward criminalizing conduct in America and particularly the use of criminal penalties in our schools (here and here). Now, a study by Texas Appleseed shows Texas schools routinely using criminal misdemeanors against unruly students.

The widespread use of criminal citations included a six-year-old child. The tickets were issued for a wide range of conduct usually handled by a call to the parents, including disrupting class, leaving school early and schoolyard fights. Dallas schools are particularly known for their use of criminal citations.

There is little discussion or apparent concern over the criminalization of our society and schools. We are now turning on our children — using the criminal system to educate them on their responsibilities.

Source: CBS

59 thoughts on “Cut the Line, Do The Time: Texas Schools Increasingly Using Criminal Citations Against Unruly Children”

  1. Swarthmore mom
    1, January 13, 2011 at 9:57 am
    The Dallas ISD is 95 percent minority. Most of the schools where this is happening in are not in affluent districts. Don’t hear of this type of thing in the Highland Park ISD.

    I suspect those observations are a large part of the explanation.

  2. James,

    If you really want to Freak Tootie out, remind her that there’s a world outside the U.S. and a large chunk of which has compulsory education. They don’t however seem to have our high rates of incarceration.


  3. I don’t pretend to know the answer to how we go about turning classroom violence around. Not at all certain we will, with the tidal volume of crude going into their heads. Garbage in, garbage out, as they say, and we are reaping we we sow.

    But for what it’s worth, I can say that at the most recent EMS seminar I attended, there was considerable discussion regarding the escalation of crappy behavior, by younger & younger students.

    In my own experience, for the first 20 years in my career, the only patients we ever treated at schools were either sick kids (lots of seizures & high fevers) or injured athletes.

    Over the last 10 years, and for the first known time in EMS history, the on-scene treatment we administer is just as likely to be for a fight, and 1/3 of those are injured teachers. Also for the first time, the combatants are just as likely to be girls.

    I would give just about anything to see American kids morph into the same level of respect for adults as Asian kids I’ve taught over the years. Wistful thinking.

    We are spawning evermore pre-teen miscreants, and in my view, the grand experiment of absorbing more humans than we can provide for, is an across-the-board disaster.

    Somebody once said, “The more hurrieder we are, the more behinder we get.”

    And as a society, we are falling behind other countries at an astounding rate.

    Of course, most truly successful societies have a better grip on knowing their limitations.

  4. frank:

    You wrote:

    “My wife works in an elementary school. The heart of the problem is the parents..”

    I doubt it. The heart of the problem is compulsory education. You cannot get rid of the bad kids so they have to stay in class. The kids have this figured out.

    That leads to the attitude of “make me” (behave, listen, be quiet, study). What’s a parent to do since the leftists will arrest them if they swat their kids. The kids know this.

    So the kids says to the parents “make me”.

    Eliminate compulsory ed thus forcing the parents to have to have the kid around the house and let parents discipline their kids as they see fit. You will see nicer kids in school. The disruptive kids will respond to correction or they won’t show up at the school door (since the law is abolished)

    The antsy kids will have to go get a job and start learning at the school of hard knocks.

    Also, the schools don’t work on strategies to reduce trouble. Stigler and Stevenson point out in The Learning Gap that in Asian schools KIDS are responsible for maintaining order in the classroom. Act up when Joey is in charge and Joey is going to act up when you are in charge (then you will look bad). This forced responsiblity shows kids the consequences of behaving badly when someone else is in charge and helps reduce misbehavior. Or so the theory goes.

  5. I knew a cop who told me that if a kid had a baseball bat in his car in the parking lot at school, the cop would have to arrest the kid for a federal crime.

    This is only because the feds have butt into education. They shouldn’t even be there since the feds have no constitutional authority to be in the public schools.

    Boot the federal tyrants out the public schools. They are there to brainwash kids anyway. and ruin their lives of children.

    Better yet, abolish the public school cartel.

  6. Swarthmore mom,
    I agree with the inference of your post. My guess is that more than 95% of those punished in this manner are Black, or Hispanic.

  7. Someone down there needs to wake up the Hispanic commnity and point out how unfriendly Mr. Perry has been to their community. I still say let them secede. They will lose out on alot of Federal dollars. Especially military dollars when all of the military bases leave the “former” state.

  8. rafflaw, Perry used the seceding issue to win the primary. He had tea party opposition along with Hutchinson. Now he does not mention it. Perry is a very slick politician. Also he does nothing to anger Hispanics. The Hispanic vote split and he won.

  9. The guns of Texas are upon us. I am sure glad that the Nuns in grade school didn’t have this same idea of discipline. If they had, I would still be in jail! Buddha, your question is a valid one. Why would anyone want their child to grow up in this gun-toting society? Can we still take Gov. Perry up on his offer to secede from the Union?

  10. Isabel Darcy, It probably will pass. After the last election, the republicans have what is called a “super majority” which means they can pass anything that they want. We know they love guns so it makes sense.

  11. There is a bill moving through the TX legislature allowing college students to carry a concealed weapon on campus. It looks like it will pass, probably BECAUSE of the AZ tragedy. (You know the argument, if we’re all packing heat, everyone will be safe. Sort of like MAD.) All I can say is that I would be pretty frightened to be a professor in TX. Someone doesn’t like the grade they got and they blow your head off. What’s the answer? Pack your own heat and have grade discussions turn into the shoot out at the OK Corral. Unbelievable.

  12. The Dallas ISD is 95 percent minority. Most of the schools where this is happening in are not in affluent districts. Don’t hear of this type of thing in the Highland Park ISD.

  13. There are a number of states that have assigned Officers to the schools…..I suppose it is a kine to the SS propaganda machine…get them used to the Police and Military presence and you too could become Pope….

    I felt early on in the practice that they (the authorities) wanted a list of everyone the parolee or probationer knew or came into contact with…the purpose? my opinion is a profile of everyone…if you think in terms of the way the credit system is operated for an individual….kinda scary…but then again…its a new day for Eugene……McCarthy that is….

  14. My wife works in an elementary school. The heart of the problem is the parents. They have kids misbehave often and usually a call to the parent does take care of it. But there are some parents that can’t or won’t support the school. My wife was attacked by a 5th grader swinging a metal file drawer. She ended up have to have her knee rebuilt. The mom couldn’t have cared less, the school tried to remove the child but a mediator ruled he could stay. He later attacked another teacher and still was not removed.

    While I think this sounds excessive I think it is a lot more complex than we would like to think it is.

  15. BIL:

    “I wonder what they do to the kids who have the audacity to play with plastic dinosaurs?”

    Give them extra credits for Anthropology 101?

  16. Good point, Gingerbaker.

    I wonder what they do to the kids who have the audacity to play with plastic dinosaurs?

  17. But all the kids have to say is “God told me to do it” and the case will be dropped. It’s Texas, right?

  18. Any questions as to why I won’t even consider living in Texas anymore?


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