March 29, 2022

Bryan Independent School District

Filing date
Case type
Direct Representation

Bryan Independent School District's use of school resource officers to issue criminal sanctions for a range of minor student misbehavior unlawfully impacts African-American students, who are "cited" at a rate four times that of other students, according to a complaint filed by attorneys with Texas Appleseed, NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the National Center for Youth Law.

This federal civil rights complaint was filed with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), on behalf of African-American students in Bryan Independent School District in Bryan, Texas, who are disproportionately harmed by the district’s policy of issuing Class C misdemeanor tickets for “Disruption of Class” and “Disorderly Conduct-Language” (profanity) as a response to relatively minor misbehavior. Before the advent of campus policing, such behavior was typically handled through school-based interventions—but now children as young as 12 years old are labeled as criminals, simply for engaging in normal teenage and pre-adolescent behavior.

Bryan ISD’s policy results in stark racial disparities. While African-American students comprise less than 25% of the students in Bryan public schools, they received more than half of all Class C tickets issued over the last three school years. African-American students are four times more likely to receive a ticket for “Disruption of Class” or “Disorderly Conduct-Language” (profanity) compared to other students.