Huntsville mayor asks desegregation judge to let cops arrest students for drugs or fighting

Jun 26, 2016 by

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle told a federal judge this month that the U.S Department of Justice is going too far by trying to limit arrests within city schools.

Battle wrote a letter this month to U.S. District Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala, who is overseeing the ongoing desegregation negotiations between the Justice Department and Huntsville City Schools. The letter, dated June 1, was published in the court file this week.

The mayor asks that police officers — known as school resource officers or SROS — continue to have the discretion to arrest children who possess illegal drugs or get in fights, contrary to the hands-off recommendations of the U.S. Department of Justice.

“From what I understand of the negotiations, the Justice Department appears to want to remove all disciplinary discretion from the SROs,” writes Battle, “which is contrary to our agreement, which recognizes their competence to exercise proper discretion and judgment in determining whether a situation properly involves injury or actions constituting a criminal offense versus one necessitating only a ‘incident’ or ‘miscellaneous report.'”

School board president Laurie McCaulley said the new agreement with Huntsville police has not reached the board for a vote yet, but that one point of contention is marijuana. She said some believe “any quantity is arrestable,” while some are opposed to arresting children for small amounts.

Source: Huntsville mayor asks desegregation judge to let cops arrest students for drugs or fighting | AL.com

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