© Texas Zero Tolerance
Texas Zero Tolerance
Texas Zero Tolerance
Cypress-Fairbanks ISD


My daughter attended school in Cy-Fair ISD.  She had been in Cy-Fair since the 5th grade for the most part.  While in high school she weighed in right at middle for her class, give or take a marking period.  While in high school she had her share of “high school” issues but they were things like, skipped school and went to Starbucks, or mouthed off at an English teacher when she didn’t agree with something the teacher had done.  My daughter was getting ready to graduate in 04, she had around 4 years of drill team experience, she was graduating recommended with 26 credits, she had community service hours and was college bound.  She was a well rounded student that was looking forward to the celebrations of her senior year.

Then it happened in March of 04 my daughter was up at the high school one morning and then facing 2-10 years in prison that afternoon!  For starters the unfortunate thing was my daughter was 18 years old and in high school, I pity the parents that have a child that is 18 or over and still in school.  A LOT of the rules change at that point, especially “PARENTS RIGHTS”.  Do you know that technically you don’t have the rights to your child’s report cards or attendance records, that’s right even though they are still in school, and you have raised them all that time, when they are 18 you have no legal rights.  Talk about uncomfortable.  So since my daughter was 18 when she was arrested they drove her (no prior record) to the down town jail for processing.  That’s where you go if you are 18 and “thought” guilty of a felony. 

My daughter was processed with true criminals and would spend the next 30 hours in jail, worse than that she would spend the next 4 months fighting for her freedom through the Harris County Court Systems.  There is something to be said about “innocent until proven guilty”.  Every single week for the next 4 months my daughter went downtown for something.  Weather it be a urinalysis or to meet with the judge or her attorney or all of the above, we did it every week. Yes, there was financial cost to this however you don’t realize what the true cost of your freedom is until it is jeopardy. 

At this point you are most likely wondering what my daughter did that was so wrong that it deserved “Zero Tolerance”.  My daughter was put in the position at school of an instructor’s assistant.  She taught and lead dance classes,( that was the schools mistake there.)  To put a fellow classman in charge of teaching is not necessarily wise on behalf of a school.  While teaching the class one of her students became ill, she walked the girl to the nurses office where a chain of unfortunate events unfolded. My daughter at that time had NO IDEA of why the girl was ill.  At this point she thought exhaustion and heat were the factors involved.  As my child proceeded to leave the nurses office the girl that was ill was begging her to stay.  She felt as if she needed to get back to her class so she left.  About half way down the hall her consciences started to bother her about leaving the sick girl so she turned around and went back to be with her.  This is what the nurse based my daughter’s guilt on, the fact that she left and came back.  Anyway, the girl motioned my daughter to come be near her and as my daughter neared the girl and bent slightly to see what she needed the girl proceeded to stick a wriggly’s gum wrapper in her hand and said “where can I meet you later to get this from you”?  About that time my daughter turned around and there stood an officer and an Assistant Principal.  Granted at this time my daughter had no idea what was in the gum wrapper, however with a sick feeling in her gut quickly left the nurses office went to the nearest bathroom and disposed of the gum wrapper in a tampon dispenser and headed back to class.  As she stated in her statement “ I did not know what to do, I did not want it on me and I did not know what to do with the item in question.” 

Well, the girl who was ill, became very ill and needed medical treatment, when the girl was questioned to the where abouts of the drug that was making her ill, she mentioned that she had placed them with my daughter.  So at this time the authorities went to my daughter’s class and questioned her.  This is the real clincher, the girl who was literally vomiting on the drugs, who had consumed the drugs was “not in possession at any level” got 6 weeks of Alternative Learning Center and went back to school and her normal life.  My daughter who had not dealt the drugs nor taken the drugs, who only new of a gum wrapper in a tampon dispenser was considered in “POSSESSION”.  What is wrong with this picture?  My daughter lost everything at that time that was important to her and to us.  She lost prom, graduation, senior breakfast and 26 high school credits.  She now has a GED for which I am very proud of her getting through all the stress she was experiencing especially.  She lost her desire and her ability to even apply to a UNIVERSITY at that time.  Eventually my daughter’s case was dropped, July 1st, became her independence day!

After working full-time and experiencing the “REAL WORLD” for a while my daughter is now enrolled full-time in college with the hopes and dreams to attend a University in the fall.  She is not 100 % out of the clear yet, she can have “NO Issues” for at least a year and we have to have her record expunged.  But at this time it seems like her life is starting to piece itself together.  I support “Common Sense” not “Zero Tolerance”.  If nothing else maybe they should have kicked my daughter out of school for a bad decision or choice, not jeopardize the life and freedom of a college bound, graduating student and her family.  I still want to know how can one child be ill on drugs, literally and get alternative learning center and the other child who does not have the “drugs in question on them” or have taken them be considered “IN POSSESSION”?  I have a son who just started high school and I am traumatized to the max, I want my son to grow up but I don’t want him in high school.  God help me and my family for I believe we still have years to get over what has happened to us.   

A mother from Cy-Fair