It all started back when my son was a 7th grader in Pearland ISD and also a special ed student on medication and special provisions because he had a behavioral problem. My husband and I are knife collectors. Our son Nick decided to take a knife without our knowledge, and took it to school. He was in PE that morning and the coach saw something in his sock and ask him what it was. Our son, took it out and gave it up willingly to the coach without incident.
We then get a call from the school to come to the school. When we get there we are informed that our son had been arrested for having an illegal weapon on school property. Our district is a Zero Tolerance District.
Then we are instructed to appear in court for his hearing. He was charged with felony possession of an illegal weapon on school grounds.
He then was suspended from school for the remainder of the year. Since it is state law the kids attend school he was put in the Alternative Education Program, which is Boot Camp in Brazoria County in Angleton Texas. He was also put on probation.
Our son did his time in jail and in boot camp and got out. He then returned to school in the 8th grade. He wasn’t in school a couple of weeks and another child’s back-pack was stolen. They found it in the bathroom, and it had been put in the toilet, and some of the contents were broken.
The “word on campus” was Nick did it. In questioning all the kids that were supposedly involved NO ONE SAW HIM (our son) take it or destroy. However, they ended up arresting our son on hear say for theft, put him in jail.
I found out who the other kids were involved in this questioning at school and found out that the police officers had questioned these students for up to several hours without parent/attorney representation.
I in return called the “parents” of some of the kids and ask them if they knew what had happened, and they said no until now.
I was trying to find out how they could arrest my son when they had NO evidence he did this. Well, I then get a call from my sons attorney, he got a call from the district attorney and informed him that if I did not stop investigating my sons charges that they would arrest me for interfering with an investigation. So, I stopped. When we got to court on this charge “theft” we wanted to plead not guilty, but were told if we fought this, they would put our son away for the felony charge, so we pleaded out with no choice.
We were ordered to pay restitution and of course there are court cost, atty. Fees, placement fees, boot camp fees etc.: added on.
Again, he was put in jail and in boot camp. He did his time and got out again. By this time he is now a 9th grader. He started school at the beginning of the year. We had an ARD and he was considered “special ed” and also was on medication and had a behavioral problem.
In his ARD, IEP, 504 it states his problems and that you are to never approach him from behind and never touch him. I requested an escort to class for him because I did not want any more problems. The escort was suppose to be an adult, however they had a student do it, and on the way to class, the student ask my son why am I escorting you? My son replies (which was wrong in my opinion) “ I guess they think I am a Columbine Kid”.
This child reports this and soon after my son was arrested and charged with terrorist threat.
Off to jail he goes again. He again gets suspended and sentenced to jail/boot camp again and probation.
Does his time goes back to school. Then again he is arrested for terrostic threat against teachers police officers. Off he goes again. Does his time gets out goes back to school. Then, he goes to school and wears a shirt the wrong color. He goes to the office and gets a note from the principal that he “can be out of dress code that day”. He is going back to class and a teacher sees him out of dress code and yells at him to stop. He didn’t and the teacher runs after him, grabs him from behind and jerks him around, grabs his lanyard and starts choking him. He grab the teachers hand and said let go. In the scuffle the teacher got “scratched” NO BLOOD-NO- BROKEN SKIN.
They again issued a warrant for Nick, and we went to the police station and he turned himself in. We wanted to press charges against the teacher, but were told NO we couldn’t.
Off to jail and boot camp again. Now keep in mind we have to drive 75 miles a day to boot camp.
By this time my son has been through so much he decided to run away. We chased him all the way to Abilene Tx brought him home. We got in so late that night we were going to turn him in the next day, but before we could the police (5-cars) showed up early that morning and arrested him for violation of probation and threatened to arrest me for harboring him. They handcuffed him in front of my other kids and took him away.
He again was sentenced to jail and boot camp. We then lost our home and ended up living in a motel in the next town over.
Because we didn’t notify the boot-camp in a timely manner we were living in a motel, they arrested him again for violation of probation, off to jail and boot camp again.
This time he got residential. They tried to send him to TYC, but we got residential instead.
Then the school district finds out we are living in a motel, not in Pearland, 10 miles away and wants to kick my other kids out of school. So, I have to give custody to my mom to keep them in school.
We then find a home right before Christmas and move in. Nick by this time is 16 and able to GED out and get out of boot camp.
However, he is still on probation until 18 yrs. At 18 he is released from probation and is now 19 yrs old. I may have confused the order in which this all happened, you have to understand we lived in jail and the court house for years.
I want you to understand my son has NEVER been in trouble out side of school, he has never been arrested or charged for anything out side of school. All his problems arouse from school, and based on the Zero Tolerance Laws in Texas.
Now, I am not saying my son is completely innocent, he made some wrong choices no doubt, but he also paid for the choices he made.
However, these people took advantage of the laws passed by our state and ultimately ruined my sons life. After he got off probation, he tried to enlist because he wanted to serve his country, and even they turned him down.
My son has lost him self esteem, and has been beat down so far I don’t know if he will ever recover. Now these people are coming after me his mom, as if ruining my sons life wasn’t enough for them.
There are many other cases out there and children out there in all the United States that have been victims of Zero Tolerance, and for things like a butter knife that was dropped and forgotten in a car while moving his family and the school saw it and charged this child.