August 2005: I have read some stories of the wrongly accused or the over punished but what about the victims?
My daughter is an eighth grader at KISD and for a solid week now she has either been trapped in the bathroom by several girls pushing her, holding her against her will or violently pushed in the hallways just because she is friends with a girl they don't like.
Why is it that the aggressors have yet to be punished? Why is it that I am being told by the assistant principal that he has to wait for her to actually take a punch, bite, or hair pulling before he can do anything about it? They have already put their hands on my daughter.
The Assistant Principal told me he is very hesitant to help my daughter because there is a group of advocates that protest determent. What is that about? Obviously, their child has not been a victim of an aggressor. She has come home three times crying and telling me she does not want to go back to school. She has always loved school and is in the National Junior Honor Society. My child is a good child who has never seen the likes of this before. I do not tolerate physical punishment nor by a stranger. When is enough, enough? How can people actually be advocates for something that I may have to bury my daughter over? It is said that the girl who has put her hands on my daughter has older brothers that run with a violent gang. What's next, next week?
If you ask me, every punishment should be individualized. The first incident should have warranted the parents but did not. They will be getting their first phone call tonight only because my daughter's father is now taking it through the judicial system. How sad is that?
In October 2003, Katy Zero Tolerance was formed to advocate for changes in the Katy ISD Code of Conduct. The group tried very hard to meet with Board members and the Superintendent. To our official requests, no comments were ever returned.
Below this, my testimony reflects only my observations. I have no knowledge of official School Board or KISD policy concerning these matters.
For the past three years, I have been involved with several “battles” with the School Board and administration of KISD. It has been my observation that both entities refuse to speak publicly about any controversy. Privately, I have met only once with Dr. Leonard Merrell, Superintendent of KISD. While I will not share with you the conversation, Dr. Merrell’s tone was confrontational at several junctures during this meeting.
Katy ISD, like every other organization, has the so-called “rumor mill.” During school board elections, disparaging comments are made about any challenger to incumbent Board members. This was exposed in the May 2005 Board race when emails were uncovered through open records requests.
It has been an observed practice that any opponent to KISD policies is met with the same rumor mill and inaccuracies about opponents become “fact” among KISD staff and administration officials. The pervious presented case illustrates this point. KZT is the identified “group of advocates that protest determent.”
As you read through this documentation and listen to my prepared testimony, you will understand, as has the general public, that KZT/Texas Zero Tolerance is for deterrents to and punishment of bullies.