ACLU of Texas and Texas Zero Tolerance Host Community Discussion on School Discipline Practices

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Dotty Griffith, Public Education Director, ACLU Foundation of Texas
(512) 478-7300 x 106 or 923-1909; dgriffith@aclutx.org

AUSTIN - Truancy law reform and problems with zero tolerance policies are hot topics for discussion at a public forum co-sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas and Texas Zero Tolerance (TZT) set for Tuesday, October 26 in Katy, a Houston suburb.

“School discipline has run amok in our state,” said ACLU of Texas Executive Director Terri Burke. “While the ACLU of Texas understands the importance of preserving an orderly and respectful educational environment, we are concerned that the emphasis on ticketing by law enforcement and expensive fines contributes to over policing in schools.”

The forum agenda includes discussion of the ACLU of Texas lawsuit against Hidalgo County for jailing low income truant students who cannot afford their fines and Corpus Christi Independent School District (CCISD) issuing citations with fines of up to $500 for use of profanity at school. The agenda will also address zero tolerance policies that force some students into alternate programs and eventually out of school.

“Harsh penalties for behavior at school encourage dropouts in a state with one of the highest dropout rates in the nation” added Fred Hink, executive director of TZT, a Houston-area based organization dedicated to reform of public school disciplinary codes.

When: Tuesday, October 26, 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Where: New Hope Presbyterian Church, 1350 N. Mason Rd., Katy, TX 77449.
Who: Students, parents, educators, anyone interested in school discipline issues.
More information: (512) 478-7300