“We have seen an influx in cases where students with disabilities are being referred to law enforcement more frequently for things that are clearly connected to their disability,” said Shiloh Carter, an attorney for Disability Rights Texas. Carter said students with disabilities often have anger episodes or other instances that are irrational, impromptu and emotional and say things they don’t mean. “Now we’re seeing a zero-tolerance policy and very young children who are facing felony charges,” Carter said. “There needs to be a step-by-step process and evidence-based system for addressing the seriousness of a threat and how to respond more appropriately.”
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