Carol Christian, Chron, October 11, 2012
Relatives of a 10-year-old boy are asking why the Cypress-Fairbanks school district found it necessary to arrest a fourth-grader after he threw a plastic container at a teacher.
The boy, who attends Emmott Elementary School, remained in custody Thursday at the Harris County Juvenile Detention Center, 1200 Congress, in downtown Houston, where community activist Quanell X called a news conference.
“You mean to tell me that in 2012 we’re now locking away children in elementary school for just disrupting the learning environment?” Quanell said. “The zero tolerance policy should be done away with.”
A spokeswoman for the school district said Thursday that federal privacy laws limit what she could disclose about the incident, but she said the family’s description of what happened was inconsistent with that of campus personnel.
“It includes inaccuracies,” spokeswoman Kelli Durham said. “Assault of a public servant — and teachers are considered public servants — is against the law.”
Photos of the boy’s classroom, taken by a district employee after the incident, showed the room in disarray, with chairs upended and reading materials strewn about the floor.
Anna Patterson, the boy’s great-grandmother and legal guardian, said he has a court appearance scheduled for Friday morning at the detention center, but she didn’t know when he would be released.
In the two semesters the boy has attended the school, at 11750 Steeple Way Blvd., Patterson said he had been suspended more times than she could count. But the suspensions were unjustified, she said.
The boy is on medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Patterson said, and had an appointment scheduled Thursday to see a therapist at Depelchin Children’s Center.