A new report shows there was a surge in arrests of Texas school children in the wake of the Parkland and Santa Fe shootings, due in large part to zero tolerance policies.
Texas Appleseed says the state saw a 156 percent increase in juveniles turned over to police for terroristic threats and 600 percent increase for firearm-related threats.
“What we found after Parkland is that schools were essentially referring them to law enforcement for comments that were made by students and were categorizing those comments as terroristic threats,” says Morgan Craven, director of Texas Appleseed's School to Prison Pipeline Project.
But Craven says only a handful of those threats turned out to be credible.
“If it's a referral to law enforcement because there's an actual safety threat we should do that, but if it's not we should be giving them something else.”
Craven says even the U.S. Secret Service reported that schools need to do a better job identifying troubled teens and opening a dialogue rather than tossing them into the criminal justice system.