They voted on this on April 20th. The same April 20th when the murderer of George Floyd was found guilty on all counts.
Tomorrow, 4/22, the Senate Committee on Education is to hear a companion bill; please reach out to the Senators on the committee and tell them to vote NO on the bill. If you can make it to Austin to testify tomorrow, please do. Details at the bottom of the article.
In only the latest attempt by Texas Republicans to keep our state in the dark ages and have a companion for their new Jim Crow Voting laws. What would be more a slap in the face than giving school resource officers and private security qualified immunity? Giving it to them on a monumental day like yesterday. It was such a slap in the face. Republicans KNEW it and were SHOCKED it was going through. Check out what Represent Cole Hefner said:
Big surprise, right? Yeah, HUGE surprise. Not only did this pass the House, THE THIRD VOTE, but it passed with 90 votes.
There are only 83 Republicans in the house. Was this a bipartisan vote? It appears it was.
I wonder why? Because this bill is RACIST as fuck.
HERE is the full text if you want to see what it says, but the summary is that school resource officers and private security can carry a gun and shoot someone they are immune from liability. I’m sure nothing will go wrong. It isn’t just if they shoot someone. It’s also if they assault or beat someone up, including a child. Like that time when that school resource office slammed the teenage girl in South Carolina?
Just last year, the ACLU released a report that showed time and time again, this data has shown students of color and students with disabilities are disproportionately referred to and arrested by police in schools.
Of course, they’re going to say it’s about protecting the kids from a school shooter.
However, the Washington Post released a report in 2018 that showed out of nearly 200 incidents of gun violence on campus found only two times where a school resource officer successfully intervened in a shooting.
Do you remember last year how that school resource officer in North Carolina was caught on video slamming a small child to the ground?
These adult men slam teenage girls and children to the ground. The bill that passed the House yesaterday would give these men qualified immunity.
The ACLU put out another report showing millions of students, especially students of color, attend schools with police officers but no nurse or school psychologist. This is all part of the school-to-prison pipeline.
It’s absolutely baffling that Democrats, who should know these statistics, would vote on this bill.
The Democrats that voted on this bill:
- Representative Mary Gonzales – HD75
- Representative Bobby Guerra – HD41
- Representative Ryan Guillen – HD31
- Representative Ana Hernandez – HD143
- Representative Abel Herrero – HD34
- Representative Terry Meza – HD105
- Representative Leo Pacheco – HD118
- Representative Mary Ann Perez – HD144
- Representative Richard Pena Raymond – HD42
- Representative Shawn Thierry – HD146
A total of ten Democrats voted on the racist bill. If you are the constituent to any of the above, I suggest you call them and ask them, “What the hell?”
If you aren’t sure who your representative is or need to find their contact information, GO HERE.
This bill is not in the best interest of the students.
This bill is the opposite of progressive. We should be passing bills that provide more accountability for police officers, not shielding them from consequences resulting from their bad actions. The Democrats who voted on this teamed up with the racists on the right for a bill to not hold school resource officers accountable if they hurt a child.
This is the type of thing that gets a DINO primaried.
Even with countless hours of training, we have seen police officers still act unlawfully, in many instances resulting in injury, death, or harm against people.
Last year the American Federation of Teachers passed a resolution calling to separate school safety and policing. We are at a time in our society when most of us have been fighting against racist institutions and racist laws. Because of that, Republicans have gone on a binge trying to shove new racist policies down our throats. From Jim Crow voter suppression laws to allowing the Ku Klux Klan to “constitutional carry,” they are doing everything they can to keep the old systems of white supremacy in place.
What is truly disappointing is that although MANY Democrats voted against the bill on the second and third reading, no one in the activist circles was alerted to this bill. Because of it, Cole Hefner didn’t get any push back.
No one even went to the capital to testify against it. In a moment caught on video, most surprised by this was the bill author, Cole Hefner.
Check out his reaction when he learned that no one registered to testify on the bill:
He was shocked, as am I. Just from seeing Hefner’s reaction when no one chose to testify on the bill and how he said: “big surprise” at the third reading shows he knew that this was a bad bill, which will likely, in the long run, hurt Texas students of color.
It’s not over yet.
Call and email each of the Senators on this committee and tell them to VOTE NO on this bill. School resource officers should NOT have qualified immunity. Here are the Senators on the committee:
- Senator Paul Bettencourt (R) – 512-463-0107 – Paul.Bettencourt@senate.texas.gov
- Senator Bob Hall (R) – 512-463-0102 – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Senator Bryan Hughes (R) – 512-463-0101 – email@example.com
- Senator Jose Menendez (D) – (512) 463-0126 – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Senator Angela Paxton (R) – 512-463-0108 – email@example.com
- Senator Charles Perry (R) – (512) 463-0128 – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Senator Beverly Powell (D) – 512-463-0110 – email@example.com
- Senator Charles Schwertner (R) – 512-463-0105 – Charles.Schwertner@senate.texas.gov
- Senator Royce West (D) – (512) 463-0123 – firstname.lastname@example.org
If you can make it to Austin tomorrow, please go and testify on this bill. The hearing will start at 9:00am.
How much more racist legislation are we going to allow Texas legislatures to force on us? Stand up against it, stand up against all institutional racism.
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