SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — Who has been disciplined for marijuana offenses at Texas State University and who hasn’t? That’s the question at the center of a lawsuit filed against the university.
The mainstream publication The Caldwell/Hays Examiner wants this data.
“The case here requires disciplinary records from the school,” civil rights attorney Nathan Fennell told the publication.
Requests student disciplinary records, including suspensions and expulsions for possession of marijuana.
“The question here is very simple and straightforward, which is simply, who is the state of Texas punishing for possession of marijuana and who is it not?” Fennell said.
Publisher Jordan Buckley said the university denied them that information. He said he cited the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), but Buckley said their request does not violate that.
“We said they could redact everything except the following information: race of student, type of drug used, disciplinary action taken and academic year,” Buckley said.
KXAN reached out to Texas State for a response and received a statement that the university does not comment on active litigation.
Buckley said the university’s decision not to provide data leaves him curious about what it might show.
“It makes us wonder if there might be a deeply troubling racial trend: namely, whether students of color have been disproportionately — or even overwhelmingly — sidelined and excluded in recent years for sweat,” Buckley said.
The lawsuit comes as San Marcos voters prepare to vote on the marijuana issue. Next month, voters will be asked if they want police to end charges and arrests for possession of up to four ounces of marijuana.