A report by Texas Appleseed, Disability Rights Texas, the Earl Carl Institute and Children's Defense Fund–Texas. Read a related press release here:
Originally published in August 2016. Updated with new data, corresponding with a new school year, in April 2017. In schools across the country, very young students are being suspended and expelled at alarming rates. Even children in preschool are being pushed out of their classrooms, usually for minor behaviors that should be addressed through school-based supports and interventions. Unfortunately, Texas public schools are no different in the way they punish very young children. For this updated report, Texas Appleseed analyzed new data (2015-2016 school year) on in-school suspensions, out-of-school suspensions, and placements in disciplinary alternative education programs for Texas children in pre-kindergarten (Pre-K) through 5th grade. This report also highlights updated policy changes from districts in Texas and across the country to reduce classroom removals of very young students.
Dangerous Discipline is a report from Texas Appleseed and Texans Care for Children. Data collected from Texas school districts, municipal courts, juvenile probation departments, the Texas Education Agency, and student surveys show that students in Texas schools are arrested, are sent to adult criminal courts, referred to juvenile probation, and experience use of force incidents at alarming rates, often for relatively minor misbehaviors. These punitive discipline methods are disproportionately used against Black and Latino students and youth with disabilities even though students of color are no more likely to misbehave, and students with disabilities should be receiving supports from their schools.
Texas Appleseed joined Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School, Children's Law Center, Inc., Juvenile Law Center, Public Counsel, and Youth Sentencing and Reentry Project in this Petition for Rehearing En Banc, arguing that a New Mexico law that criminalizes children for minor classroom misbehaviors is harmful to students, is contrary to settled legal principles, and carries disproportionate consequences for children of color and children with disabilities. The U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico upheld the law even though it allows law enforcement officers to intervene to address relatively minor classroom disturbances. In this case, a child was arrested for repeatedly burping in class.


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