Student Protest Cases Go To Court In Round Rock

Posted in Williamson County at 2:29 pm by wcnews

The cases start going to court (read the comments), and the first case the jury finds the student not-guilty.

A jury today acquitted the first Round Rock student who went to trial after being cited for disrupting class in March during protests against federal immigration legislation.

The jury of three men and three women found 15-year-old Irvin DeLuna not guilty of the Class C misdemeanor violation after deliberating about an hour and 20 minutes.


Throughout the two-day trial, city prosecutor Susan Camp-Lee had argued that DeLuna, in joining other students in the march, disrupted the regular classroom routines at both Round Rock and Stony Point High schools, which were in “lockdown” during the protests.

“There’s a lot of places to go and protest in Round Rock and they chose Stony Point High School,” she said in her closing argument. “Of all the places they could go, they went to a school, so I think you can infer what their intent was: to disrupt.”

But defense attorney Travis Williamson, who voluntarily represented DeLuna at the request of the Texas Civil Rights Project, told jurors that any lockdowns or classroom disruptions were unintended. The students were exercising their right to peacefully voice their concerns about an issue they were passionate about, he said.

“That’s the only way a student can be heard” he said in his closing argument. “It’s a protected activity. They can’t vote. The only thing they can do is protest.”

DeLuna said after the trial that he knew the school might punish the students for missing class, but did not realize he would face criminal charges. In light of what happened, he said he probably wouldn’t protest again during the school day.

“I was trying to make it peaceful, but it was too much of a problem,” DeLuna said.

Juror Jon Silver, 41, of Round Rock said after the trial that the jury thought prosecutors did not prove that DeLuna intended to disrupt classes. The Texas Education Code says that someone can be charged with disruption of classes for intentionally disturbing classes or other school activities while on school property or public property within 500 feet of a school.

“All the testimony said was that all the kids said they were going to Stony Point,” he said. “Nobody said why.”

Forty-eight cases are still pending against students who participated in the protests.

Hopefully this ruling will knock some sense into the Round Rock government and they won’t waste anymore time and money on this and dismiss the other 48 cases.

1 Comment »

  1. Eye on Williamson » Round Rock Jury Finds Student Guilty For Protesting said,

    December 5, 2006 at 10:08 am

    [...] In the only other trial to have gone before a jury so far, the 15-year-old student was found not guilty. [...]

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