A recent report commissioned by several non-profit Texas organizations has concluded that arrests of juveniles for terroristic threats and firearms violations are up dramatically since the horrific mass shootings in schools throughout the country that occurred in 2018. The report also concluded that many students are being shuffled into the juvenile criminal justice system for crimes that would have been considered moderate disciplinary problems in the past. Criminal defense attorneys are the best protection for juveniles against such reactionary policies.
It is also reported that even though children make up about 13 percent of the school population arrests of blacks for terroristic threats and firearms are roughly double that percentage. Experts say that the statistic is in line with other disproportionate arrest statistics indicating an institutional prejudice against blacks. The report also indicates that although the heightened vigilance is thwarting attacks, it is also resulting in unnecessary arrests and funneling of children into the system, scarring their lives without due cause.
The report concludes that authorities are failing to distinguish between truly damaging behavior and normal childhood discipline problems. The Executive Director of the Texas Association of School Resource Officers has stated that such lack of attention to detail can turn a discipline problem into a criminal offense unnecessarily. School resource officers use many factors to make a decision about putting young persons into the criminal justice system.
The resource officers say that they are doing everything they can to keep young people out of the criminal referral process. In addition, the idea of arming teachers has drawn harsh responses and will not take off as a serious proposal, it appears. The report indicates that those students with disabilities, including mental or emotional deficiencies, are also being arrested disproportionately and charged with crimes. When an individual juvenile is questioned or arrested by the authorities, the most responsible approach for parents is to consult immediately with a criminal defense attorney for protection of rights and avoidance of improper treatment.