Texas Zero Tolerance is no longer an active organization.
We’ve been in existence since October, 2003. During our stint, we’ve helped to change the Texas Education Code to mandate that school districts take into account extenuating circumstances when deciding the culpability of students accused of disciplinary infractions. There is still a lot more to be done. Most reforms can take place at the local school board level. In parting, we encourage parents to learn as much as they can about their district’s disciplinary policies and push board members to adhere to the education codes as well as to enact TZT’s stated goals of immediate parental notification and a transparent appeals process that answers directly to the school boards.
Many of our public schools operate in a quasi-police state atmosphere. Change can only happen with future parental involvement. If you, as parents, do not become engaged with your schools and the oversight of your school district then you have sent a signal to educators that they can do as they please. Education in Texas and in the United States has evolved into everything but the primary goal of stewardship of our most precious resource: our children. If no one steps forward to carry the torch of reform, education will never improve and the “professional” administrators will continue to abuse our children.
The TZT website will remain as a resource into the indefinite future.
We thank everyone who has given us support and provided countless hours of unselfish dedication to improve the disciplinarian system in Texas. We’ve done very well but there is so much more to be done.
Thank you all.
The War on Kids is an award winning documentary detailing zero tolerance in America's schools and how out of control our public schools really are. We encourage you to support the documentary by making a purchase. We give it an A+...
New - in Student's Corner, Amanda Toohey explores the zero tolerance disciplinary policies in public schools and the warehousing of students in the school-to-prison pipeline.
A special thanks to Texas State Representative Dora Olivo
Unfortunately Rep. Olivo lost her battle in the primary. We have all the respect for her in the world and wish her well. None of the reforms we have realized to date would have happened without her tireless efforts. She has been the protector of the voiceless and she will be missed. God speed Rep. Olivo and thank you so much for your unfailing support since 2003.
Why Texas Zero Tolerance is Needed
As parents of children in the Texas public school system, we are constantly reminded that we are partners in the education of our children.
Many parents in Texas do not realize that if their child is accused of a disciplinary infraction at their school, they can be brought into the school principal’s office, interrogated by school officials, interrogated by police, arrested and taken to jail before parents are notified. After all the dust has settled, you as a parent have few rights for an appeal. Once a citation is written, it cannot be taken back and your child will have to appear in court.
We ask that you take some time to explore our website - examine some of the examples of this abuse in our Reported Cases section and help us reform Chapter 37 (particularly § 37.001 - Student Code of Conduct) of the Texas Education Code to allow due process and common sense back into our schools. The text of House Bill 171 (previous reform initiative) can be found here.
by Eddie Evans, Co-Director - Texas Zero Tolerance
"We hold children to higher standards than we hold adults. We don't leave any room for children to make mistakes." ~ Billy Jacobs, former Senior Director of the Safe Schools Division of the Texas Education Agency
“There is no law authorizing an officer to interview a child on campus (except for investigations of child abuse or neglect). The school district can choose. It can permit interrogations, it can refuse to allow interrogations, or it can choose to allow interrogations only if the parent has first been contacted.” - TEA Staff Lawyer
Typical cases we have received…
- Disruption of peace and Class “C” Misdemeanors that have carried fines from $50 to $500 plus six-month probations for uttering a curse word – not to be confused with a child verbally abusing another student or teacher.
- Possession of pocketknives, box cutters, mini souvenir bats result in prosecutions and sentences to JJAEP boot camps
- Terroristic threats issued for having “hate lists” such as a child writing that they don’t like Michael Jackson, as example.
- Innocent childhood pranks such as “mooning” or “pantsing” ending with sexual harassment charges and extended punishment in alternative education programs.
- Students defending against attacks by other students charged with aggravated assault and extended punishments in alternative education programs.
There are many more – many that are complex cases – but in all, we believe that absolute power in the hands of school district administrators have absolutely corrupted common sense.