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Do Texas Students Deserve To Have Personal Privacy?

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Gov. Rick Perry has signed into law a measure that will give the state’s teachers more access to criminal information about their students. 

The law will require written notification of student arrests as well as details about parolees from the juvenile justice system.  It was prompted by the 2009 fatal stabbing of John Tyler High School teacher Todd Henry by a 16-year-old who had been released from the Texas Youth Commission.

Rep. Jerry Madden, the bill’s sponsor, said Monday that Perry’s approval ensures “a safe learning environment” for teachers and students.  The legislation was strongly supported by educators.  But it drew criticism from juvenile justice advocates who believe it undercuts the confidentiality necessary for young people to overcome mistakes.  Texas already provides more background on students than most states permit.

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