The grounds for removal to a Texas Disciplinary Alternative Education Program ("DAEP") are governed by Section 37.
Texas teachers can remove students to a disciplinary alternative education program if the teacher deems the student's behavior "so unruly, disruptive, or abusive that it seriously interferes with the teacher's ability to communicate effectively with the students in the class or with the ability of the student's classmates to learn.
specify that consideration will be given, as a factor in each decision concerning suspension, removal to a disciplinary alternative education program, expulsion, or placement in a juvenile justice alternative education program, regardless of whether the decision concerns a mandatory or discretionary action to (A) self-defense; (B) intent or lack of intent at the time the student engaged in the conduct; (C) a student's disciplinary history; or (D) a disability that substantially impairs the student's capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of the student's conduct.
Texas Appleseed's earliest school-to-prison pipe-line research identified 211 Texas school districts disproportionately referring African-American students to Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs
(DAEPs) for one or more years between 2001 and 2006--and almost a third of Texas' school districts (or 412 districts) overrepresented special education students in their DAEP referrals.
These forms of discipline include in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, placement in disciplinary alternative education programs, expulsion, and placement in juvenile justice programs.
In contrast to students of color, the presence of special education students (with Individualized Education Plans) in disciplinary alternative education programs was relatively equivalent to the 12% nationwide average of students in special education (Kleiner et al 2002).
It would be important for advocates to work with school personnel to help them understand how these factors reduced student motivation, engagement, and increase negative interpersonal interactions--all of which might lead to behavior that causes discretionary referral to disciplinary alternative education programs.