Photo of Travis Fife

Travis Fife

  • Hosted by Texas Civil Rights Project
  • Sponsored by Latham & Watkins LLP
  • Service location Houston, Texas
  • Law school Harvard Law School
  • Issue area Education/Special Education, Racial Justice
  • Fellowship class year 2021
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Through legal representation, impact litigation, and community advocacy, Travis (he/him/his) will work on behalf of Texas kids ensnared in the school-to-prison pipeline to ensure every child has a meaningful opportunity to thrive in school. 

Every year in Texas, over 16,000 kids are referred from the classroom to a police officer. Tens of thousands more are suspended, expelled, or pushed into alternative disciplinary schools. Growing up in the Texas public school system, Travis has seen firsthand the life-altering impact these punitive discipline policies can have on kids. The result is generations of disproportionately Black and Brown kids who are deprived a chance to succeed because for every instance of exclusionary discipline, a student becomes less likely to graduate and more likely to become incarcerated. Today, Texas’ school-to-prison pipeline operates in violation of both state and federal law, but no dedicated affirmative litigation effort currently exists to address the needs of kids, their families, or their community. 

Fellowship Plans

During his Fellowship, Travis will work together with those most affected by the school-to-prison pipeline through legal representation, litigation, and community advocacy. Impact litigation will generate an important accountability mechanism to make systemic change and force schools to reinvest in students’ education. Additionally, “Know Your Rights” trainings, self-help legal materials, and collaborations with community organizations will help empower those directly harmed by school discipline to reclaim children’s educations. 

Media

Houston Community Demands Changes to HISD Code of Conduct

Fighting To End School Policing

Eight from Harvard Law named Equal Justice Works Fellows

As a Texan and former teacher, I believe schools should treat students with patience and compassion, not handcuffs and pepper spray.

Travis Fife /
2021 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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