TRI in the News


Civil Liberties Group Threatens Suit Against AISD



December 10, 2014

AMARILLO -- A civil liberties group is threatening to sue the Amarillo Independent School District (AISD).

It stems from an incident earlier this fall.

A 14-year old Sam Houston Middle School student was arrested for trespassing and resisting arrest while watching a football game for refusing to remove his rosary beads or leave the property.

The Rutherford Institute says that's a clear violation of the constitution.

The Rutherford Institute wants the school district to make some changes to school policy or face a possible lawsuit.

When the student refused the officer's orders, a scuffle broke-out between the two.

Police say the teenager was resisting arrest and that's why both ended up on the ground.

The founder of the Rutherford Institute, John Whitehead, says police are clearly wrong on this.

"The law is pretty clear.  Rosary beads, the cross, all of that associated with it are protected under the first amendment.   That's the key thing here and I think it would teach a great lesson to students if the school was to say, let's follow the law here."  Whitehead said.

Whitehead also wants the district to review its policies regarding police interactions with students.

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