Bill limiting out-of-school suspensions for young students signed into law

student suspensions

Out-of-school suspensions will be limited for young Texas students, starting this coming school year.

State Representative Eric Johnson’s bill, HB 674, was signed into law June 12. It will limit suspensions for children in prekindergarten through second grade.

“HB 674 will ensure that school districts in Texas find real hardcore solutions for misbehaviors, instead of pushing them out of school through suspensions,” a representative for the Texas Organizing Project said at a press conference Wednesday.

Johnson explained Wednesday that students under third grade can only be suspended or expelled for extreme cases of misbehavior, such as bringing guns or drugs to school, or excessive violence.

Academic studies have showed that young students who are suspended or expelled from school are more likely to drop out of school or face incarceration than students who are not removed from the classroom in their youth.

Dallas schools trustee Miguel Solis is clear that one of the goals of the bill is to aid African-American children.

“The data are really clear,” he said. “In the state of Texas, if you are particularly a young black boy, you are more likely to be caught up in the discipline system but particularly to be out-of-school suspended.”

The bill will go into effect September 1, 2017.

This story originally appeared June 21, 2017 on FOX 4.

RSVP NOW: Come march with us in Dallas on June 17!

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In 1973, Dallas police killed 12-year-old Santos Rodriguez and got away with it. Earlier this year, Dallas-area police killed 15-year-old Jordan Edwards. We can’t have the same result, and we can’t allow this to keep happening. There must be justice for Jordan, and police brutality must end.

Join us Saturday in Dallas to show that Texans demand police accountability and an end to police violence against people of color. If you’re in Houston or San Antonio, you can catch a ride on our buses.

Reserve your seat here!

Police march snapshot

Houston Bus: Please arrive at 6 a.m. at the TOP office (2404 Caroline St.)
Bus will depart promptly at 6:30 a.m.
TOP contact person: Anita Scott, (318) 575-9924, ascott@organizetexas.org

San Antonio Bus: Please arrive at 5:45 a.m. at the TOP office (700 S. Zarzamora St., Suite 212)
Bus will depart promptly at 6 a.m.
TOP contact person: Laquita Garcia, (972) 342-5116, lgarcia@organizetexas.org

The buses are FREE but you must reserve a seat here.

We’re expecting thousands of Texans to march and rally with us against police intimidation, oppression and violence in every form and against every community, including immigrants, LGBTQIA, women, refugees and people of color.

The police are supposed to serve and protect us, not hurt and kill us.

Join us this Saturday. RSVP here!

This is the fight for our lives.

Tarsha Jackson
Criminal Justice Director
Texas Organizing Project

Joint Statement: Dallas to sue Texas against SB 4

HD Dallas skyline

Workers Defense Project and the Texas Organizing Project applaud Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and the City Council for standing up against hate and joining the lawsuit to stop SB4. We also thank Mayor Rawlings for standing with us at a public action earlier in the day where we urged him to take this step.

“Everyday, more communities join the fight against SB 4, and our movement will only continue to grow,” said Jose P. Garza, executive director of the Workers Defense Project. “ We applaud the city of Dallas for standing with Texas families against SB 4.”

Community advocates held a press conference outside city hall and were joined by Mayor Rawlings and Mayor pro tem Monica Alonso. Inside city hall advocates urged city hall to support litigation against SB 4 during open comment.

“Mayor Rawlings and City Council made Dallas proud today by standing up to our state’s Republican leadership that seeks to marginalize and criminalize people of color,” said Michelle Tremillo, executive director of the Texas Organizing Project. “SB4 would serve no other purpose than to encourage and legalize racial profiling. With this lawsuit, Mayor Rawlings is putting Dallas on the right side of history.”

After an executive briefing, Mayor Rawlings announced that Dallas will be joining the lawsuit against SB 4.

Dallas’ announcement comes days after San Antonio, Bexar County and Austin filed a lawsuit against the state joining Workers Defense Project and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund. Last month, the City of Cenizo, El Paso, the Texas Organizing Project Education Fund and the Texas Civil Rights Project filed a lawsuit against the state.

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Workers Defense Project (WDP) is a statewide organization winning good jobs for low-wage workers. For more information, go to www.workersdefense.org, or follow us on Twitter, @WorkersDefense.

Texas Organizing Project organizes Black and Brown communities in Texas’ three largest counties with the goal of transforming Texas into a state where working people of color have the power and representation they deserve. For more information, visit organizetexas.org.