Amarillo school district cuts Class C misdemeanors with program

Darrin Murphy, AISD Behavior Sciences Coordinator
Darrin Murphy, AISD Behavior Sciences Coordinator

Angelina Perez
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, TX- Students across Texas can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor for conduct as simple as disrupting class.

The Texas Appleseed program recently did research examining the impact of school disciplinary policies in more than 100 Texas school districts but they did not look at Amarillo ISD. 

Deborah Fowler of Texas Appleseed says AISD was not looked at because they do not have an "in house" police department, and because they have a program in place to teach students positive behavior.

Darrin Murphy, the school districts behavior sciences coordinator says the positive behavioral interventions and supports program has drastically cut office visits in the schools, which in turn decreases the amount of tickets issued.

"We have had a huge decrease in the number of referrals, the number of times a kid is actually leaving class and coming to the office. There's been huge drops, huge percentage drops at all levels and that's keeping kids in the classroom," says Murphy.

Texas Appleseed says they hope other school districts in Texas follow the model set by AISD.