Monday, February 21, 2011

DIAGNOSIS:  The x-ray shows a sprained wrist - which means the tearing of the ligaments that hold the joint together.  It will take 3-6 weeks to heal.  This was not a mere touching.

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE:   The parents were never called.  Had I not called the father all three children would have been interviewed without their parents there.  The father I am working with had the other students take pictures of their bruises with their cell phones.  The father and other parents were told they would not be allowed to file criminal charges with the police officers on the scene.  They were told they needed to go to the main police station near Hanna and file charges.  Total BS.

Look I do not know what happened - for all any one knows the students attached the coach and he was defending himself.  But if this were the case I am certain the children would have been suspended.  I am holding judgment on what the coach did or did not do - I was not there - I am not holding judgment on the principal who failed to call the parents and who failed to allow the parents to file criminal charges at  the scene.  In the end the coach may be a  victim, but the principal failed to do her job.

I am told Springston was just made aware of this.  He does have Type A flu and was said to have gone home after the failed meeting.  I am told his staff called him at home and he is on top of it.

I want to be clear - the coach may be innocent - this is not my issue - my issue is the mishandling of the matter by the principal. 
UPDATE:  I just spoke to a father - he is mad that he was never called.  He is reporting no one at Pace has called the parents of the other two children involved.  I had him take pictures of his daughter with his cell phone. I informed him he could not take pictures of the two other children.  He was told Pace did not want to take any action until after they investigate - bullshit - the principal needs to be suspended today - you can conduct the investigation while you call the parents.  The father who is there is reporting the children are clearly injured.  Why have they not been transported to the doctor or at least give the parents notice so the parents can take them to the doctor.

A female Pace student who I have already interviewed is claiming a Pace coach assaulted her during the lunch period. All we have is an allegation. The father is on his way to the campus to demand an explanation as to why his daughter has not been allowed to file criminal charges against the coach.

According to the child she and her friends were sent to the nurse and then back to class. They have not been allowed to file criminal charges. The one I spoke with is 18 so she has independent authority from her parents to file charges.  She called me when the school failed to call her parents.  She also called her mother. 

What happened - in my opinion some of them tried to wrongfully exit the building with their lunch trays. I do not know the policy but they are saying the coach approached them and told them they could not leave with the trays. I suspect the coach is correct in his claims.

The child is saying the coach then grabbed her by the arm and left it swollen - at least according to the nurse.

Here is where Pace failed twice and the principal needs to be disciplined. When a child is claiming assault - you call the police and secure all of the witnesses. The father is there as I speak demanding an explanation.

I do not know if the child is telling the truth - I was not there. But I will I say if the coach did touch the child in a way to cause swelling on her arm and it was not to secure the child because she was a danger to herself or another, the the coach needs to be suspended with pay pending an investigation.

If these are the facts, the principal also needs to be suspended with pay pending an investigation. There should be one and only one reaction to a child alleging assault - call the police and secure the witnesses - then call the parents. This did not happen


Anonymous said...

The other thing that should have happened is that you should have not "interviewed" the youth. Every time someone talks to the child it further taints an investigation. There are just so many opportunities for a well-meaning person to instill a bias or inadvertantly cue a response in a child/young person during questioning. Likewise, the school has no business questioning the child (but they always do.) Their obligation under the law is go call law enforcement or child protective services when an outcry is made. They should call the parent, too, though I do not know what the legal obligation is in this regard.
Also, how can the school prevent someone from filing charges? In this age of cell phones and instant communication that must be pretty hard to do. Making a police report, the first step in filing charges, is a easy as dialing 911 to get the ball rolling. Also, I would do my best to stay away from the BISD police. Their reputation regarding investigation skills is not good.

BobbyWC said...

I generally agree with you about interviewing the child - had she not been 18 and someone I have known fo 6 years Inever would have interviewed her - I also did it at the mothers insistence.

I can assure you I was very clear with her on two points - when a teacher/coach tells you to do something you do it, and 2 she is to never allow a man to touch her in a way which hurts her.

I believe both comments were and are appropriate.

I can assure you she knows I feel there are two sides to this story.

The verification of the swelling is what really concerns me - had the coach simply grab her arm in a soft way I would have told her to blow it off, although the coach would have still been wrong - I get that some days the kids can send teh best teacher of coach over the edge - I am a bit more pragmatic about this than some parents might be.

But once you have grabbed a child - in fact more than one child - so as to cause visible injury - you better have done it to protect another child, yourself or another adult.

Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly, their is a chart that exists regarding steps that must be taken whenever a certain discipline problem arises on campus. The students and parents get this chart in the handbook, but few bother to read it. A principal must follow the guidelines for each individual case and report such to the AA. But before a principal can report anything, they must investigate the situation. Both sides of the story need to be listened to and so if the principal follows the chart he/she gets in trouble with the parents and if he/she does not follow the chart, he/she gets in trouble with the supt. It may be necessary to visit that chart and revise it or update it, because the behavior of some students is not the run-of-the-mill actions that were once prevelant. I wonder if the principals for a day had a chance to actually witness a situation that principals must face everyday with incorrigible students who are going to do as they please, come hell or high-wather, because Daddy or Mommy will come defend their angels. A rule is a rule and everyone needs to follow it, but teachers, don't risk your job by trying to instill these values in students whose parents have not done so at home. Let the brat eat out of the cafeteria even though it is against school policy to take a tray out of the cafeteria if it is not covered with scran wrap. It is a catch 22 situation for those who are trying to stick to the rules - d if you do and d if you don't. Bobby, why is it that it is always someone who runs to you to complain that gets in trouble. You are popular! You should run for the school board once we run Cata out!

BobbyWC said...

I hope it is clear in my post I am not judging the coach - I made it clear he was correct to enforce the rule - the problem is what happened after that and we do not know

what we do know if teh principal failed to call the parents and then obstructed the parents filing criminal charges - charges which in the end may not have merit

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

How do you propose that the principal obstructed the parents from filing criminal charges. If a parent sees that his child has been injured unreasonably, NOBODY, is going to keep him from going to the police!!!

BobbyWC said...

i am going to assume you do not know how the system works - BISD police have 100 jurisdiction over the matter. Do you think the principal would have told a teacher to go to the main police station to file a criminal complaint against a student?

Never - I have been with parents as theirs kids have been arrested on campus.

The police were there - the principal said no if you want to file a complaint you go across town and file it at the police station - this is not how you treat parents.

By the time the parent finished with the doctor the BISD were closed - so now they have to wait until tomorrow after school - the swelling will go down -

well we have the doctor's report verifying the injury and the pictures

Competent people preserve evidence -a competent principal would have had the parent file the criminal complaint with the investigating officers at the scene -

At the hospitasl the father realized the principal did not so much as give him the name of the coach