An 11-Year-Old Got a Ticket for Threatening to Cut a Classmate's Throat Yesterday

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RISD
Thurgood Marshall Elementary
Just after noon at Thurgood Marshall Elementary yesterday, Dallas police were called to Thurgood Marshall Elementary, which is in Dallas but part of Richardson ISD. A teacher had just cleared 20 students from her classroom after an 11-year-old boy threatened to cut the throat of a fellow classmate, then placed a plastic bag over his own head and began making loud noises.

So, police did what they've been doing a lot in Texas in recent years: they wrote they wrote the kid a ticket for disrupting class. Disrupting class has been a class C misdemeanor, rather than merely grounds for visiting the principal's office, since the state legislature implemented a set of zero-tolerance laws in 1995 addressing school discipline.

In 2010, there were some 420.000 citations written in Texas, according to the Texas Tribune. Most of those were for things like profanity and truancy, and most were issued to high schoolers. But cases against students as young as five have been reported.

A bill to reform the law, which critics say makes run-of-the mill juvenile behavior into a criminal act, was introduced but was never voted on. Threatening to cut a classmate's throat is anything but run of the mill, but those critics wonder how a ticket will persuade an 11-year-old who undoubtedly has larger issues to behave.

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22 comments
DISDTeacher
DISDTeacher

In this instance,  I don't think the teacher had any choice but to report it.  

The public schools are simply trying to put responsibility for a child's behavior and mental health back on the parent so all the other kids don't suffer.

Threatening to cut another kid is sort of a big red flag of a mental issue.  And who knows how many other times the teacher had tried other approaches before it came  down to calling the police and ticketing the child's parents.

 

In DISD, 10% of the kids cause 99% of the problem (and 10% of 150,000 kids is a lot of kids).

Most middle class parents who leave DISD do so not to avoid the teachers or the campuses, but to get their children away from the out-of-control 10% AND all the rules/policies/mandates that apply to everybody in an attempt to rein in the 10%.

And since DISD will not set up more campuses for kids with these issues, all of DISD goes down with the ship.

 

I can't understand why the teachers reacted as they did in CraigT42's case, except this:  you don't want to be accused of favoritism/racism/etc.  The teachers may have been concerned that if they let this minor thing go for CraigT's and the other child but then nailed chronically problem kids for something similar, the problem kids would claim discrimination based on their gender, race, income level, whatever.  So horseplay kids, as in DISD, suffer bc of the stringent rules.

 

The solution is to have completely separate campuses for kids with chronic discipline referrals where those kids can get what they need--counseling, remediation, whole-family intervention, etc. and the horseplay kids can keep acting like normal kids.

roo_ster
roo_ster

My tax dollars at work.

 

We need to nuke the gov't school system from orbit.  It is the only way to be sure.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

Wrote a ticket?

 

They shoulda wrote a scrip for xanax.

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

"then placed a plastic bag over his own head and began making loud noises." Huff break?

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

10 licks by the P.E. coach.

 

He won't want anymore of those.

unclescrappy
unclescrappy

The truth is the State Legislature passed these STUPID TICKET LAWS as yet another way to raise $$$ for the Govt. Class C Tickets are a TOTAL JOKE. They are nothing but Govt Extortion of it's citizens.

 

People need to start taking every one of them to trial even when you know you will be found guilty in the Kangroo Court Justice System. But make the Govt spend more $$$ than they can possibly collect & tell them you are doing it to make a political statement. That is a protected right.

 

CraigT42
CraigT42

These zero tolerance laws are just stupid, panicked reactions by idiot politicians and the morons who keep voting them in.My 2nd grader was suspended from school for 2 days because he and a 5th grader pushed each other at the water fountain.  The 5th grader gets a talking too and my 2nd grader gets suspended.  because when they were shoving each other my kids hands touched the other kids neck.  Both teachers who witnessed the incident wrote down that they do not think my son intended to choke the other boy, but because his hands made contact with the neck he is suspended,

 

DISDTeacher
DISDTeacher

 @roo_ster Taxpayers should get to vote.  HP and Southlake would probably vote to keep their govt schools.

If it were up to a vote, you'd see DISD cut the crap immediately.  They'd make all neighborhood schools "magnets" with minimum academic and behavior standards (like the charters do) and then they'd set up dozens of remedial campuses for the kids who don't get into the neighborhood "magnet".

Just the threat of a vote would change DISD permanently.

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

@holmantx - 'l10 licks by the P.E. coach." - In this day and age, you might want to rephrase that.

observist
observist topcommenter

 @holmantx That's the answer - beat the violence out of them.

Lakewooder
Lakewooder

 @observist  @holmantx

Can't speak for everyone but it worked for me. I didn't ever want to see coach pull that paddle out again.

unclescrappy
unclescrappy

 @Montemalone

 Thats fine, but I am going to make them spend more $$$ than they will collect from me trying the case. Plus since I am indigent, I will either have to sit out the fine or do community service. Overall LOSE-LOSE for the court system. If people started standing up to this tyranny, we would crash the system cause they write hundreds of thousands of these BS Tickets & the court system would collapse under the weight if more people would stand up for their RIGHTS.

 

But you Sheepeople like Montemalone, just open up your wallets & keep subsidizing the system.

CraigT42
CraigT42

 @GuitarPlayer He will fight again, because he is 7 and doesn't think before he acts.  So will  the twice his size 5th grader who shoved him first (according to teacher witness reports) but got into no trouble at all.

But that is sooo far from the point it is laughable. Yes my son should have been punished for fighting, if you can call 2 kids pushing each other a fight, but suspended, when no one was hurt is stupid.  Even the administrator signing the paperwork said it was an overreaction but that his hands were tied.

observist
observist topcommenter

 @holmantx  @Lakewooder Studies show that people who were beaten as children are 17 times more likely to post comments on the internet espousing violence against children.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

 @Lakewooder  @observist Corporal punishment works particularly well on minors passing through puberty in a school setting.  Punishment is immediate and life goes no.  If it doesn't modify their behavior, expel them from the classroom and let their parents deal with them at home for a while.  Secondary education should not be used as daycare.  A high degree of discipline including corporal punishment works well all across the planet on kids.  It always has.  It's why it is employed.  

GuitarPlayer
GuitarPlayer

 @CraigT42 "He will fight again, because he is 7 and doesn't think before he acts."  -----  Let me say this. I can understand your frustration, I do. But I have taught plenty of 7 year old boys and they just don't go looking for fights. It's a taught reaction from watching adults. If your son is attacked then Yes, he should defend himself. 

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