Ticketing policy changes for Texas school police officers - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Ticketing policy changes for Texas school police officers

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School police and resource officers will no longer be able to issue tickets to students at local schools unless it's a serious or violent crime.

The new rules are a result of two bills passed by lawmakers that didn't generate a lot of attention, but will change the way students are disciplined at school.

Students involved in fights, cursing teachers, disrupting classes or causing problems previously were issued tickets that carried $500 fines. It was a policy adopted in 1995 for zero tolerance for misbehavior in school.

"All Class C citations, other than traffic tickets on school property, are eliminated," said State Sen. Royce West at training for DISD police. "Bottom line – no more ticketing of students."

Renea Honea, president of the Alliance/AFT teachers union, said other districts across the state abused the power to give citations, prompting the change.

According to Texas Appleseed, a Texas youth advocacy group, said 300,000 citations were issued to Texas public school children in 2010. Some kids as young as 6-years-old were ticketed, according to the group.

"This makes the administrators on the campuses use the tools that they have been given to handle the discipline and not just hand it off to the judicial system," Honea said.

School districts still have the ability to assign in-school suspension, suspensions from school, expulsions or arrests if needed.

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