Tuesday, February 24, 2015


There is a battle of who will oversee the BISD Truancy cases. BISD has been trying its best to work under the emerging rules and concerns related to truancy - but on deaf ears.

The problems in Texas are specifically addressed in the following two articles.

Appleseed Complaint; New York Times

BISD is not all bad.  There are efforts to clean up the problems with special needs, but forces continue to use the budget as an excuse.  A parent with a child at Hanna is going to be having a very special conversation with the special needs teacher.  The child after never liking school is thriving in her third year in smaller classes.  She is anxious to graduate. She has plans.  But they are harassing her on a regular basis to agree to go to regular classes.  She is in 10th grade and reading at about a 3rd grade level.  Why would you take her out of the smaller classes?  Budgets.  But the good news is, the parent has access to the right person to stop the harassment of his daughter.  She is staying put where she is thriving and wanting to be in school.

Bela in prek makes me feel sorry for all the middle income kids who are not being given access to this program.  This child loves school.  She loves homework.  She is writing short sentences.  She is reading.  While Bela and her mom get a lot of credit [ I get a little since, since she was born I have been pushing learning] the teachers and the program also gets a lot of credit.

Truancy is not about kids just not wanting to go to school.  You have kids who have intense anxiety disorders which make a classroom a nightmare.  The parents do not see it and make it worse by punishing their kid.  The teachers assume the kid is bad. 

We need to do a better job listening.

This is where a good truancy judge is needed.  We need a judge who will sit with the child and say - "talk to me - what can I do to help you."  We have kids being abused at home then being punished by our courts.  We have kids dealing with gender confusion and then being punished by our courts.

Those at BISD trying to fix the problem in my book are all A+ administrators.  But like everything else it is about power.

If we take away truancy from the JP courts there is clearly no need for Mary Esther Garcia's court.  Sofie Benavides will fight tooth and nail to keep truancy in JP courts even if it means failing our children.

Cities all over the US are going to specialized truancy judges.  This is what BISD wants.  The goal was to hire a full time truancy judge to work within the municipal courts.  The problem is Charlie Cabler does not get it - or maybe he is giving into pressure from Ben Neece.  Cabler wants the part-time municipal judges to all hear the truancy cases.

Sorry Charlie - that defeats the entire purpose of a specialty truancy court.


Sources in all three JP courts claim they are no longer hearing truancy cases.  Has BISD decided it best to try and solve these problems in house than send them to inept JP's?

The reality is, the right internal mediator can probably ID the problems with the individual children and work a solution in house before sending the cases to court.  Maybe that is the direction BISD needs to go.

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