Student in school

Texas Appleseed researches and reports on the impact of school discipline policies; ticketing, arrest and use of force in public schools; court involvement in student discipline; and the effectiveness of alternative education programs to help close pathways to dropout and incarceration.

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New Video Series Aids Texas Youth Charged with Class C Misdemeanors

Texas Appleseed and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. have released a new series of videos designed to help youth who are accused of school-based Class C misdemeanors defend themselves in court. The videos below, in English and Spanish, were produced with the generous financial support of the Texas Bar Foundation. Our joint press release has more information.

Introduction Videos

Youth In Court: Defending Yourself Against a Class C Misdemeanor Charge

Jóvenes en Corte: Defendiéndote Contra un Cargo Menor Clase C

Click below to watch our offense-specific videos:

Defending Against a Failure to Attend School Charge

Defendiéndote Contra un Cargo de Absentismo Escolar

Defending Against a Disorderly Conduct Charge

Defendiéndote Contra un Cargo de Conducta Desordenada

Defending Against an Assault Charge

Defendiéndote Contra un Cargo de Asalto Menor Clase C


Texas RioGrade Legal Aid (TRLA) has published an updated series of guides for students and parent of students charged with school-related misdemeanors and forced to defend themselves in Justice of the Peace (JP) or municipal court. Download the guides here. 

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) ha publicado una serie de guías para estudiantes y los padres de estudiantes que han sido acusados de delitos menores escolares y que tendrán que defenderse a sí mismos en los tribunales JP o municipal. Puede descargar las guías aquí. 

Defending Against an Assault Charge / Defensa Contra un Cargo de Agresión

Defending Against a Disorderly Conduct Charge / Defensa Contra un Cargo de Conducta Desordenada

Defending Against a Failure to Attend School Charge / Defensa Contra un Cargo de Ausencia Escolar

Children With Disabilities / Niños con Discapacidades


  • APPLESEED, OTHER JUSTICE GROUPS SAY IT'S TIME: BAN USING TASERS, PEPPER SPRAY ON SCHOOL CHILDREN. Only weeks after a student suffered traumatic brain injury as a result of being tased at school, Texas Appleseed is urging the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement to adopt a statewide policy that bans the use of pepper spray, stun guns, and Tasers on students by school police officers attempting to restore order in school. We are part of a coalition of seven civil rights and social justice groups seeking this change to protect children.
        JOINT LETTER TO TCLE   12.4.2013      PRESS RELEASE 12.5.2013


Fact Sheet:  School-to-Prison Pipeline in Texas

School Ticketing Implementation Guide

Guide to Prosecution for School Truancy in Texas

Student Guide to Impact on School Discipline (SB 393 & 1114, 2013)

Complaint filed with U.S Department of Justice by Texas Appleseed, Disability Rights Texas, National Center for Youth Law  6.13.2013
Summary - Complaint filed with DOJ

Truancy Research  3.2013
Breaking Rules, Breaking Budgets: Cost of Explusionary Discipline in 11 Texas School Districts 
Latest Ticketing and Arrest Data for 40+ Texas School Districts  4.2013
Texas Appleseed Testimony 12.11.2012  Submitted in writing for the nation's first Congressional hearing on the school-to-prison pipeline (U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights)



Dallas ISD Police Push to Reduce Citations Given to Students, Dallas Morning News, 1.14.2013
11Texas Districts Spent $227 Million a Year On Discipline
, The Atlanta Constitution, 11.5.2012
School Discipline Policies Too Harsh, Senators Say, Houston Chronicle, 10.30.2012



Texas Appleseed's work has attracted media coverage from outlets in Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, and France.
The U.S. Schools with Their Own Police
, The Guardian, 1.9.2012  References Texas Appleseed's school-to-prison pipeline work and our 2011 report on Class C misdemeanor ticketing and arrest at schools in Texas for minor misbehavior.  

Ticketing_Booklet_cover Ticketing, Arrest & Use of Force in Schools and Executive Summary and Press Release


Texas Appleseed's work is featured at these links on National Public Radio, the Washington Post, and The New York Times ... and here in Texas, in the The Texas Tribune and Houston Chronicle.

One Way to Guarantee More Trouble, The New York Times editorial, 7.30.2011
Texas Schools Study - Most Kids Have Been Suspended, National Public Radio, 7.19.2011
Half of Texas Students Have Been Suspended, Study Finds
, Education Week, 7.19.2011


PBS NewsHour:

Harsh Punishment for Misbehavior in Texas Schools

Misbehavior that in another era might have resulted in a trip to the principal's office now leads to fines, citations, even criminal records in some cases in Texas.


 Fox & Friends (national broadcast)
Video: Guest views on Texas Appleseed report on student ticketing
, 1.14.2011
Video: Appleseed Deputy Director interviewed
, 1.29.2011

KVUE-TV, Austin
Video: Student Says She was Ticketed for Wearing Too Much Perfume

 KTRK-TV, Houston 
Video: Report Questions Tickets Given to Students
, 1.12.2011

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