HOUSTON—Activists objecting to the expulsion of more than two-dozen students at Spring High School after a fatal stabbing earlier this month say the students are being kicked out on flimsy evidence, and that the investigators should face investigation as well.
“It is absolutely beyond a miscarriage of justice. It is an abortion of justice,” said activist Quannel X after attending a disciplinary hearing with the family of Ladaydrick Heard, 16, a sophomore accused of being a gang member.
Heard, a friend of slain student Joshua Broussard, was among the students interviewed by school district investigators. The family obtained copies of that investigative report that includes a photograph of the student appearing to be displaying a gang sign. The investigator wrote that the teen admitted being a member, for the last year, of a group called “Young Fam” and that he showed the investigator the gang sign when he was asked to do so. Quannel complained that asking the boy to show a gang sign should not be enough evidence to throw him out of school.
“And the same no-good, low-down damn investigator told the boy to pose,” said Quannel X.
Earlier this week Heard told KHOU 11 News, “I wasn’t in a gang yesterday. I’m not in a gang today. And I won’t be in a gang tomorrow.”
“It is our belief that this investigation has no value at all,” added Pastor Ronald Smith, who also attended the disciplinary hearing.
The investigative report says Heard also told the investigator that he had an older brother serving a life sentence in a Texas prison for killing a Hispanic male. Heard’s family said they have no such relative. A TDCJ spokesperson, when provided the name in the Spring ISD report, said they have no such person in custody.
“I’m calling on an outside governmental agency to step in and investigate the investigator,” added Quannel X saying that he wants the Harris County District Attorney’s Office to get involved.
Spring ISD continues to say it cannot comment on individual investigations due to student privacy laws. But earlier this week a spokesperson indicated that as many as 26 students are currently in the disciplinary/expulsion process but, that not all of those disciplinary hearings are related to the fatal stabbing of student Joshua Broussard on Sept. 4th.
Spring ISD on Friday provided this additional written statement:
“Every Spring ISD student and parent has the right to due process as outlined in the Spring ISD Student Code of Conduct and related policies.
Students who violate the Spring ISD Student Code of Conduct are assigned appropriate disciplinary action, which may include assignment to a disciplinary alternative education program such as High Point, or an expulsion to the Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program.
Spring High School has been engaged today in providing appropriate due process for students involved in disciplinary matters. The district cannot talk specifically about disciplinary matters due to student privacy laws.”
Quannel X said he has been contacted by as many as 10 families who have students being expelled from Spring High School. Of those, he says six have chosen to remove their children entirely from Spring ISD.