The police officer assigned to our high school has asked whether parents of children may be issued a criminal trespass warning from coming onto the school grounds. He is concerned about whether the parents' rights to have access to their children trumps the school's ability to ban them from the premises.
Has anyone dealt with this? Does anyone have at least a starting place for me to begin my research? Thanks!
This came from a FAQ listed on TEA's web:
Question: I need to know my rights as a parent for visiting the school during school hours?
Answer: There is no express right to visit a school, though most, of course, welcome parents. Depending on the security concerns appropriate to the school, most will require a sign-in or sometimes advance notice. Many will not allow visitors during testing or some other particularly busy period. This will all be governed by your district's policies about parents visiting, which you should be able to get at the school district's or school's administration office. A complaint about that policy or about an administrator should be taken through the local grievance process (to the principal, then the superintendent, then the school board), which is also a policy you should be able to obtain from the school district's or school's administration office. (3/2001)
Be aware of the specific trespass provision in the Education Code (section 37.105 and 37.107) which create a Class C offense of trespass on the school grounds. The Education Code specific offense should prevail over the less specific Penal Code offenses, but the Penal Code offenses would apply if the person was actually IN THE SCHOOL BUILDING.
I think the legislature created this Education Code offense to deal with the situation where the kids merely came onto the school grounds, but not into the building - perhaps to play on the playground.
If they are merely on the grounds then the officers should give them a ticket for the Class C offense.
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