A security video has surfaced in the investigation into the tasing of Noe Nino de Rivera, a high school student at Cedar Creek High School in Bastrop, by a Bastrop County deputy in November. Rivera suffered a severe brain injury and was kept in a medically-induced coma after the incident. According ... More >>
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Monday over the controversial Texas abortion law. The law, which was allowed to be enacted in October by the Fifth Circuit, requires doctors to have local hospital admitting privileges to conduct abortions. State Sen. Wendy Davis rocketed to p ... More >>
If there's anything worse than rolling up to the U.S.-Texas border and getting flagged by agents with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, it's getting flagged, searched and probed by those agents. On December 8, 2012, agents frisked and strip-searched a U.S. citizen as she was trying to return ... More >>
In a lawsuit filed Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas charges that an agent of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection used unwarranted force and physically abused a U.S. citizen when she questioned his search of her purse. Laura Mireles, who is disabled, suffered physical injuries ... More >>
In one of the largest reports surveying the current state of marijuana enforcement in the nation, the ACLU released a 183-page text on Thursday examining the racial disparities among marijuana-related arrests across America. While the report is a damning look at the failure of the War on Marijuana, ... More >>
Weeks after Tony Zamazal first asked Spring High School's administration whether or not she could wear a dress to her upcoming prom, the senior finally has an answer. After receiving a letter from the ACLU dated March 18, Spring ISD has finally announced it will allow Tony, who had long dressed in t ... More >>
We have some great commenters here on Hair Balls, and it's time we paid some damn attention to them. So we'll be highlighting a Comment of the Day each morning or afternoon from the previous day's work. Maybe two comments, even. This will all be determined by a highly rigorous scientific formula i ... More >>
In June 2009, Chris Vogel wrote our story "For Their Own Good," detailing the problems created when teens are left in solitary confinement in jail for up to 23 hours a day. We'd like to think we made an impact -- well, we had some effect in Harris County, which is what we concentrated on -- but as ... More >>
The ACLU of Texas is criticizing a Houston police officer's alleged seizing of a witness's cell phone at the scene where the officer shot an unarmed man. HPD says Officer J. McGowan shot Rufino Lara while investigating an alleged assault after he refused both English and Spanish commands to put his ... More >>
A Henderson High student who went public to fight the district's placing her in alternative school with her alleged rapist says she's happy the policy has been changed. Rachel Bradshaw, 19, eventually graduated from another district after the March 2010 incident. Bradshaw told authorities she had b ... More >>
Schools are finally getting tougher on gay bullying.
We didn't really think this happened much anymore, but apparently Hidalgo County was in the habit of jailing school truants who couldn't pay the sometimes large fines they racked up. It sounded -- to the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Texas -- like the debtor's prisons of old, so th ... More >>
Don't read that, kids.The ACLU of Texas has released their annual report on books banned by the state's school districts. Among the usual suspects this time around: R.L. Stine, a Gossip Girl novel and the ever-popular gay penguins tale And Tango Makes Three. Another highlight: An elementary ... More >>
Photo by Mandy OaklanderReverend Barry Lynn and Terri Burke are protesting The ResponseDiversity-minded, Constitution-abiding folks are pissed at tomorrow's one-day Jesus camp called "The Response." Governor Rick Perry, of course, is the belle of the ball. It's a little complicated since he' ... More >>
Give to CaesarThe ACLU of Texas has filed open-records request seeking information on how much tax money, if any, is being spent promoting Rick Perry's paryer meeting at Reliant Stadium next month. "We are concerned that Gov. Perry is using public office to endorse a sectarian religious even ... More >>
Rumbles about using a churchThe ACLU of Texas is looking into complaints from at least one faculty member about the Lone Star College System's decision to hold graduation ceremonies this weekend in two churches. They say they have been contacted by an LSCS faculty member, and quoted him as s ... More >>
Overzealous filtering ends in Goose Creek.Last month we told you how Baytown's Goose Creek school district was one of four nationwide targeted by the American Civil Liberties Union in a complaint over blocking gay-related material from school computers. One Goose Creek student trying to rese ... More >>
Part of the "Don't Filter Me" projectThe Goose Creek ISD is one of four in the country being sent letters from the American Civil Liberties Union saying students' civil rights are being violated because the district blocks gay-related content from its school computers. One student said he wa ... More >>
Does Cleve Foster deserve a death at least as humane as that of a lizard? The ACLU thinks so.The pets of those on death row would be treated more humanely than their owners, if the animals were sitting in the execution chamber instead of them. According to a report released by the American C ... More >>
Won't get you into ACLU trouble.We were upset to see Harris County Criminal Court Judge John Clinton get pilloried by godless ACLU-types who had problems with him offering defendants the option of writing a book report on a "Scripture-based workbook." After some criminal defense attorneys, a ... More >>
ACLU of Texas, coming to townAfter decades in Austin, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas is moving to a city that's apparently more fertile ground for civil-rights battles: Houston. "A city as dynamic and diverse as Houston is truly the face of the new Texas and the right setting fo ... More >>
Denene Miller's Hotlanta: Banned in Cy-FairBanned Books Week begins Saturday, and the ACLU of Texas has put out its annual report on censorship in the state's schools.One highlight: "[W]e were pleased to see that Houston ISD, the largest school district in the state and the one with the most chal ... More >>
Missing school, getting fined thousands. The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas is challenging officials in Hidalgo County because teenagers are being jailed in an adult detention center for skipping school and not paying truancy fines, which, according to a class action lawsuit filed Monday ... More >>
Big vote tonightThe Houston Independent School District's board is expected to vote later today to renew its contract with a controversial company that handles students with disciplinary problems. The ACLU of Texas isn't too happy about that.The ACLU wrote a letter to HISD superintendent Terry Gr ... More >>
Time to do some more research, ACLU saysPresident Obama's plan to send a bunch of National Guard troops and a ton of cash to the U.S.-Mexico border has a new critic: The American Civil Liberties Union.The ACLU has come out against the plan, saying Obama needs to...do other things before he does t ... More >>
Highlights from the Blog at HOUSTONPRESS.COM
The ACLU of Texas is criticizing Harris County's criticism of the U.S. Department of Justice's criticism of Harris County Jail. Hair Balls isn't sure who to criticize yet. In a press release, the state chapter's legal director calls County Attorney Vince Ryan's response to the DOJ ... More >>
Muslims in Texas and around the United States aren't being allowed to practice one of the key tenets of their religion -- namely charitable giving -- because of our country's terrorism-finance laws, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.In its 164-report "Blocking Faith, Freezing Charity," ... More >>
A federal judge ruled this week that the Needville Independent School District was wrong to keep a five-year-old Native American boy out of kindergarten because of his long hair. "You stand up for something that you believe is wrong, and you let people know and it gets fixed," says Adriel Arocha' ... More >>
A Houston softball team accuses Atlanta of being too straight
The good people of Klein ISD change the rules to keep out a gay club
Yates isn't dying to prove the equity of Harris County executions
Alvin ISD exempts conscientious objectors from dress code rules. But nobody can get that exemption.
In an ACLU test case on brutality, jurors side with state prison guards
Once burdened by debt and internal politics, a rejuvenated Texas ACLU is back mixing it up with those who dare to trample on the U. S. Constitution.
Inmate Mark Knox claims Texas prison guards brutalized him. The ACLU fears that in an expanding and unwieldy TDCJ system Knox is far from alone.
In a small town south of Houston, they say school prayer is a matter of religious freedom. But even in Santa Fe, freedom for one student can be tyranny for another.
The ACLU returns from the dead in Houston