PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

July 18, 2011

Parents cry out at NISD board meeting

NEDERLAND — Parents at the Nederland ISD board meeting Monday spoke out against the district’s decision to allow a male student--a minor--invoved in a sexual assault case to return to classes.

The district website states that the returning student was not adjudicated as a sex offender and not required by law to register as a sex offender.

Four parents spoke before the board with concerns for the safety of their children and for the safety of the alleged victims.

After the parents gave their concerns, the district’s lawyer, Tanner Hunt, explained that the district has a very narrow policy for readmitting students.

Hunt explained that the district policy was written such that, if no further incidents had occurred and the student received positive recommendations from a clinician, a psychologist, a counselor, an educator and others, the hearing examiner is basically required to approve the student’s return to school.

“The code pretty much ties the hands of the hearing examiner,” said Tanner.

Two concerned parents, one of them in tears, cried out during the lawyer’s address to the board--a violation of board meeting code--with insulting remarks, calling the lawyer’s statement a lie and saying, “and you are believing him just because of who he is.”

The lawyer said that the district had received lengthy letters on the issue but none of them had brought any evidence of another incident since the time of the expulsion.

The district website further states that all of the charges brought against the returning student did not involve alleged conduct at school, or at a school sponsor event.

The student had been expelled from school in January. The student had confessed “true” to the crime during the hearing in which his readmission into the district was approved.

Hunt said, “It is a very, very sensitive matter, but it is important to understand the legal implications of the matter.”

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