Advocates Celebrate Passage of Legislation Limiting School Suspensions

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DALLAS (WBAP/KLIF) – State Representative Eric Johnson joined local education advocates Wednesday, at his former Dallas elementary school, to celebrate passage of HB 674 which he authored. The bill limits out-of-school suspensions for students in pre-kindergarten through the second grade.

“A school district can not allow students below third grade to be suspended out of school for something other than extreme violence, assault, or carrying weapons to school,” said Johnson.

Rep. Johnson said academic studies have shown that young children who are expelled or suspended from school are more likely to drop out of school, face incarceration and repeat grades than students who do not face classroom removal during early childhood.

“We have a better chance of avoiding incarceration if we work on correcting behavior,” said Johnson. “Other than punishing them and their families by telling them to go home.”

He said HB 674 seeks to prevent the criminalization of young children, particularly young children of color and children with disabilities. A similar policy was passed locally by Dallas ISD in February. The Texas Organizing Project, Texas Appleseed, and the ALCU helped Johnson support the bill.

This story originally appeared June 21, 2017 on WBAP 850 AM.

TOP congratulates Dallas ISD Trustee Dustin Marshall on re-election win

Dustin Marshall

The following is a statement by Allison Brim, Education Campaign Director for the Texas Organizing Project, on Dustin Marshall winning re-election as Trustee for Dallas ISD, District 2 on Saturday:

“Texas Organizing Project (TOP) congratulates our endorsed candidate, Dustin Marshall, on a hard-fought victory Saturday night.

“TOP members endorsed Dustin because he has been a proven champion on fighting for and winning positive changes to Dallas ISD discipline policies, making our schools safe for all students, and supporting adequate funding to improve our schools.

“Our organization looks forward to working with him to win even more improvements for Dallas schools.”

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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.

TOP Statement on 7-year-old boy being handcuffed & 12-year-old girl being body-slammed by Dallas ISD police at school

Kid in handcuffs

The following statement was made by Allison Brim, education campaign director of the Texas Organizing Project and a Dallas ISD mother, in response to viral videos showing the appalling mistreatment of two DISD students by district police:

“Schools should be a nurturing, safe space for our students. We trust when we send our children to school that they will be protected and treated with kindness and consideration.

“That’s why seeing the treatment this girl and boy received at the hands of police at DISD schools is shocking and sad. Incidents like these are, unfortunately, not isolated or infrequent.

“They are a byproduct of an over-policing of our public schools, a frightening trend that criminalizes students, particular students of color, and funnels them into the pipeline to prison. This must stop.

“Earlier this year, TOP, Texas Appleseed, and ACLU of Texas were instrumental in championing a policy authored by Trustee Miguel Solis that will equip school staff with the skills needed to correct behavior and teach students healthy ways of dealing with the root causes of their acting out, instead of just kicking young kids out of class and disciplining them in ways that harm and dehumanize them.

“TOP demands that Dallas ISD trustees and Superintendent Hinojosa get to the bottom of this and hold staff accountable to ensure that disturbing incidents like these do not happen in the future. The district’s parents and students deserve better.”

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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.