ACLU sues Hidalgo County JP's over truancy cases
Tue, 27 Jul 2010 15:14:46 GMT —
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a class action lawsuit against all nine justices of the peace regarding the way they handle truancy cases.
The lawsuit against the JPs, Sheriff Lupe Trevio and Hidalgo County was filed in McAllen federal court late Monday afternoon.
The ACLU asserts that teens, who were over the age of 17 and cited in truancy cases, had to spend up to a week with adults in the Hidalgo County Jail.
The civil rights group claims many of the teens were ticketed for truancy and other school-related offense before their 17th birthdays.
The ACLU claims Hidalgo County has created a "school to prison pipeline" burdening teens from poor families with heavy fines that they can't pay resulting in jail time.
According to the lawsuit, one teen has medical problems and was not able to graduate because she was in jail and missed her TAKS test.
The ACLU is holding a press conference about the lawsuit at 1 p.m. today.
Action 4 News is working on getting reaction from Hidalgo County leaders and will post more information as it becomes available.