Citation Policy Created to Keep Students Safe

Mina Cowles, Reporter

A zero-tolerance citation policy has been created for offenses such as disrespectful behavior, fighting and theft, to bring a new environment to Braswell HS.

One of the most common offenses that students will be reprimanded for is Disorderly Conduct (DOC) or Disturbing the Peace.  

“Language, gestures, anything that a teacher, student, or anyone is offended by,” said the new Student Resource Officer (SRO) supervisor Sgt. St. Pe’.

The punishments begin with a referral to the office from a faculty or staff member. After, the SROs receive the referral and write a citation. The citation fine can amount up to $500.

“I think we need it,” sophomore English teacher Stefani Moore said. “Things have been disruptive for a while. This year things need to become a bit stricter so that we can earn our safe learning environment back. Certain teachers are going to benefit from this.”

Another common offense is fighting which would also be considered disruptive behavior. In October, fights were a common occurrence on campus which shed a light on the growing student population. 

“Last year we had a fight a day and this year we got to our tipping point,” said Moore.

Braswell HS makes up most of the Denton ISD fighting percentage across the four high schools, creating a news buzz and negative reputation for the campus. Therefore, a citation will be issued in the future.

“A referral will be written if we didn’t witness [the fight] and then each party would get a citation up to $500,” Sgt. St. Pe’ said. “Anyone that is involved, recording or adding on would also be subject to disciplinary actions as well.”

Other offenses include theft and the possession of illegal substances. These two can include citations, but also jail time if found guilty. 

Students have had a mostly negative reaction to the citation policy. They have talked about the lack of information they have been given about the policy in general, the amount of money that fines can reach and the power that a teacher may now retain. 

“I had no idea that [the citation policy] was a thing,” senior Miles Howard said. “I feel like the students should have been told all of the information right away instead of being left in the dark.”

“Teachers can abuse the power [of the policy], and even if you can contest it [in court], some people can’t afford to contest it,” another student said. “If a kid is just having a bad day, if something is going on at home and the only way they can express it is to lash out, that is not worth the $500.”

Other students, though opposed to the disruption citations, believe that the citations are good for the fighting issue. 

“We have a fighting issue,” another senior said. “We have a bunch of issues that are ignored, and then the tension that is ignored kind of blows up and people fight each other. The citations are good for that and are important.” 

According to Sgt St. Pe’, the topic of citations should be taught soon by the administrators during advisory.