SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — Who is being disciplined for marijuana offenses at Texas State University, and who is not? That’s the question at the center of a lawsuit filed against the university.
Grassroots publication The Caldwell/Hays Examiner is asking for that data.
“The case here is demanding disciplinary records from the school,” said civil rights attorney for the publication Nathan Fennell.
It’s asking for student disciplinary records including suspension and expulsion for marijuana possession.
“The question here is a very simple and straightforward one which is just — who is Texas State disciplining for marijuana possession and who aren’t they?” Fennell said.
The publisher, Jordan Buckley, said the university has denied them that information. He said it is citing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), but Buckley said their request doesn’t violate that.
“We said they can redact everything, except the following information: race of student, the type of drug involved, disciplinary action taken and the 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.
“Spurring us to wonder if there might be a deeply disturbing racial trend afoot: namely whether students of color have been disproportionately – or even exclusively – suspended and expelled in recent years for pot,” Buckley said.
The lawsuit comes as San Marcos voters are preparing to go to the polls about the issue of marijuana. Next month, voters will be asked if they want to see police end citations and arrests for possession of up to four ounces of marijuana.