Five stories that have North Texas talking: Students face spike in criminal charges where police officers are based, Texas education leaders try to figure out algebra II problem and more.
Is that on-campus offense worthy of a legal fine or a trip to the principal’s office? That’s what advocates and judges are asking as groups like the National Rifle Association push for more police officers in schools.
Houston is one city where the school system already has its own police force, Erik Eckholm of the New York Times explains. And a concerning number of students end up in legal battles as a result:
Such criminal charges may be most prevalent in Texas, where police officers based in schools write more than 100,000 misdemeanor tickets each year, said Deborah Fowler, the deputy director of Texas Appleseed, a legal advocacy center in Austin. The students seldom get legal aid, she noted, and they may face hundreds of dollars in fines, community service and, in some cases, a lasting record that could affect applications for jobs or the military.
- When Things Get Tough, We're Better Together: The national gun control debate continues to eclipse underlying mental health concerns that mark tragedies like Newtown. We’re still hearing feedback about Erasing The Stigma, a forum featuring Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Dr. Preston Wiles of UT Southwestern Medical Center and other leaders who brainstormed ways to make treatment accessible and banish stereotypes associated with diagnosis. KERA produced the program with the Dallas Morning News in February. Our man Jeff Whittington talked to Krystina Martinez about the project’s community impact and the intra-media cooperation that made it happen on the This is NPR blog. You can still watch the full discussion.
- Texas Schools Minus Algebra II? Career training courses are taking priority over advanced math in many public schools. So the Legislature is taking up the case to leave algebra II out of the core requirements for a high school diploma. Thing is, Texas education led the charge in higher math standards ten years ago, and some advocates for advanced courses don’t want to abandon the formula. [Texas Tribune]
- Richardson To West Nile Virus: En Garde! Mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus have been found in Richardson. The city confirmed 14 human cases last year, and health officials aren’t waiting to attack: Ground spraying will start Sunday, the earliest it’s ever had to happen. [WFAA]
- Without Iconic Sign In Oak Cliff, It’s A Lonely Avenue: The Alamo Plaza Hotel sign was a North Star of sorts for anyone who found themselves lost in the byzantine Oak Cliff road system. It was a charmer, too, and now it’s gone to make way for the new development Sylvan Thirty. The tear-down was a surprise to Katherine Seale of Preservation Dallas, who was under the impression it would stay. [Dallas News]