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Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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Katy ISD Gives Sixth Grader Four months in Alternative Ed for Graffiti

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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As the Houston Chronicle reports in Writing on school wall gets Katy sixth-grader pulled, Shelby Sendelbach was slapped with a mandatory four-month assignment to an alternative school for writing “I love Alex” on a gymnasium wall already covered with graffiti. The district classified her act as a Level 4 infraction, ranking in the eyes of the district up there with terroristic threats, possessing dangerous drugs, and assault with bodily injury.

The Harris County district attorney’s office declined to prosecute the case as a felony. But school district spokesman Steve Stanford said the district is following a state law that requires mandatory removal to a disciplinary alternative education school for such an offense.

How’s this for some Legislative Intent?

But Rep. Rob Eissler, R-The Woodlands, disagreed. Eissler co-authored House Bill 603 in 2005, which gives administrators more latitude to consider disciplinary history, intent, whether a student has a disability that would impair judgment or acted in self-defense in deciding punishment.

“They have all the leeway they want,” he said. “They didn’t have to hammer this young lady the way they did. That’s why I wrote HB 603 — to give school districts authority to back off the black-and-white justice.”

Stanford said he is confident the district is following the law.

Priceless.

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6 Responses

  1. Mark Bennett says:

    “. . . ranking in the eyes of the district up there with terroristic threats, possessing dangerous drugs, and assault with bodily injury”

    In fact it’s the Texas legislature that ranks graffiti “right up there” — not just with the other three offenses, but above them.

    Terroristic threat (which doesn’t involve terrorism), possession of dangerous drugs (which doesn’t involve dangerous drugs), and assault with bodily injury (which — this shouldn’t, at this point, surprise you — doesn’t involve bodily injury) are all misdemeanors. Grafitti at school is a state jail felony.

  2. Mark Bennett says:

    Hooray for middle-class white kids!!!

  3. lukegilman says:

    Ah yes, anything to keep it out of the news…

  4. none says:

    MAN YALL COPS MAKE ME SICK STUPID VANDAL SQUAD YALL HAVE REAL JOBS TO CACH REAL CRIMINALS LIKE DRUGS KILLINGS MURDER
    AND GRAND THEFT WE ARE NOT DOING NONE OF THAT WE JUST EXPRESS OUR SELF IN DIFFERENT WAYS

  5. lukegilman says:

    um, no cops here, but I’ll be sure to pass the sentiment along.

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