Students Ask San Antonio Independent School District Board to Rein in Campus Discipline by Police

Student activists from SAISD display signs asking for more involvement in setting district policies. - COURTESY PHOTO / ALEX BIRNEL
Courtesy Photo / Alex Birnel
Student activists from SAISD display signs asking for more involvement in setting district policies.
San Antonio Independent School District students converged on Monday night’s school board meeting to demand changes to the district's Student Bill of Rights — among them, that police step back from campus discipline.

The district adopted a Student Bill of Rights late last year that says students should be informed about disciplinary practices and that such practices be applied consistently.

But dozen or so student activists at Monday's meeting told the board that the document doesn't go far enough and is applied inconsistently. What's more, they argue, police presence on some campuses escalates disciplinary issues that should be handled by teachers or administrators.

"We were successful in getting [the board's] attention and getting them to want to meet with us," Bell Garcia, 18, a senior at the Young Women’s Leadership Academy, told the Current by phone Tuesday. "But if we're going to hold a meeting it needs to be a student-led thing. We don't just want them talking at us instead of with us."

The students made seven requests, including stricter limits on police presence in schools and more access to discipline reports, including the race and campus of students involved, the Express-News reports.

Groups including the ACLU Texas, MOVE Texas, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition and Texas Appleseed co-signed the students' requests, the paper reports.

"I really hope that we are able to get something started — almost set in stone — to make changes for next year," Garcia said.

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