More than a dozen Houston school district employees are getting a lesson in the zero-tolerance policies typically applied to students as they await court hearings on drug charges that could land them in jail.
Some of the charges, particularly those involving prescription pills, are drawing criticism from lawyers, parents and teachers who say the Houston Independent School District and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office need a lesson in discretion.
Norm Uhl, an HISD spokesman, said the district is treating employees as it would students — arresting them for having drugs on campus and leaving it up to prosecutors to file charges.
“We do have discretion to accept charges or not accept charges, but as officers of the court, it’s our duty to see that justice is done,” said Donna Hawkins, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office. “And if an officer calls us with a valid charge and probable cause, then we should accept that charge unless there is some extenuating circumstance.