Dustin Rynders, Supervising Attorney, Education Team
DRTx is excited to announce the launch of our new “Make My School Safe” Toolkit, created with our partners at Texas Appleseed and the Earl Carl Institute. It’s designed to equip students, parents, caretakers, educators and advocates with resources so they can address school safety and school police issues and advocate for procedural and policy changes at their campus and school district. You can check out the toolkit online.
This School Safety Toolkit will provide you with information on:
- which methods and approaches actually work to increase school safety and create positive school climates,
- the rights students have when they are accused of misbehavior in their schools,
- the impact of safety and policing policies on students with disabilities,
- how to organize your community in order to initiate policy changes with respect to how police officers are allowed to interact with students in schools and the type of training that should be required for school police officers,
- other tools that can be used to combat the “school-to-prison pipeline,” and
- so much more!
The “school-to-prison pipeline” is a term that describes the policies and practices—the use of suspensions, expulsions, school police, and courts—that push students out of the classroom and increase the likelihood that they will experience academic difficulties, drop out of school, and come into contact with the justice system.
This guide is not meant to provide legal advice, either general or specific. For legal advice, you should consult a lawyer.
Texas Law Help Legal Aid or the Texas State Bar may be able to help you find a lawyer. If the impacted student has a disability, Disability Rights Texas may be able to help.
We hope that this toolkit will help you create a safer school environment that centers caring and positive relationships between all members of your school community.