Monday, April 16, 2007

Texas city surrenders to student protesters

The Round Rock school district had arrested those students who walked out of class in order to protest in favour of illegal immigrants. The students sued, claiming they had a first amendment right to do what they did -- even though past SCOTUS decisions have held that behaviour "disruptive" to teaching is NOT protected by the First. The city decided not to fight on, allegedly on cost grounds:

"The Round Rock City Council votes to accept a settlement with the 70 students who filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the city and who are still awaiting trial for participation in an immigration demonstration over a year ago.

Settlement Terms
1. Round Rock will dismiss all pending municipal trials against students
a. City attorney will recommend that Williamson County drop the appeal of the one student case that was lost
2. Expungement of student arrest records
a. RR/RRISD will not oppose expungement of the students' arrest records, but will cooperate with the process
b. Round Rock will set up $33,000 expungement fund, administered by TCRP, from which person can draw up to $400, if s/he wants to expunge record....

See also here. The protesters were aided by the Texas Civil Liberties Project.