CHANNELVIEW, Texas – A Channelview High School senior was taken into custody after deputies said a handgun was found in his car in his school parking lot.
Precinct 3 deputies said the Harris County District Attorney’s Office initially accepted charges on the 17-year-old. According to investigators, the district attorney’s office called back an hour later with a change of heart.
The district attorney’s office reportedly pointed to the fact that state law does not consider parking lots as part of school premises.
“The kids know that no one was in trouble for this. So it’s like a free pass now. That’s how I see it,” explained one mother who wanted to remain anonymous.
Letters went home with parents after the gun was found in the student’s center console on Monday.
Deputies said the handgun was unloaded.
“Just because the gun wasn’t loaded, doesn’t make me feel any better,” said the concerned mother. “I’m not saying, I want the kid to be sent up the river and executed. I’m just saying he should be punished.”
KHOU 11 News legal expert Gerald Treece said the wording of Texas law can sometimes allow school districts to hand out punishment rather than the state.
“Perhaps, what some district attorney’s are doing is measuring how many feet away from the school this was and what was the intent of the law,” Treece said.
He believes the outcome could’ve been different for this student.
“The kids in Texas, the teachers in Texas, visitors at schools, leave your guns at home. That’s the lesson. It’s that simple,” Treece said.
Channelview ISD told KHOU that the 17-year-old, who will be 18 later this month, is currently on suspension. The school district hasn’t determined if he will face further disciplinary action.