Mother questions ETX school's punishment - Montgomery Alabama news.

Mother questions ETX school's punishment

Posted: Updated:
  • More newsMore>>

  • Tropical Storm Bertha forms near Barbados

    Tropical Storm Bertha forms near Barbados

    Friday, August 1 2014 5:56 AM EDT2014-08-01 09:56:54 GMT
    The second storm of the 2014 hurricane season has formed.More >>
    The second storm of the 2014 hurricane season has formed.More >>
  • Gaza truce unravels within hours

    Gaza truce unravels within hours

    Friday, August 1 2014 5:34 AM EDT2014-08-01 09:34:07 GMT
    A three-day cease-fire in the Gaza Strip has gone into effect following heavy Israel-Hamas fighting.More >>
    A three-day Gaza cease-fire that began Friday quickly unraveled, with Israel and Hamas accusing each other of violating the truce as four Palestinians were killed in a heavy exchange of fire in the southern town of Rafah.More >>
  • Ukrainian troops suffer heavy loss in ambush

    Ukrainian troops suffer heavy loss in ambush

    Friday, August 1 2014 5:33 AM EDT2014-08-01 09:33:44 GMT
    Ukrainian authorities said Friday that at least 10 government troops were killed in an ambush by pro-Russian separatists in an area near the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but international inspectors...More >>
    A team of several dozen international investigators descended Friday on the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash site in eastern Ukraine to begin combing an area now designated as a crime scene.More >>

An East Texas mother says her son's punishment for fighting is excessive, and now she's taking her grievance to the school board.

The mother tells KLTV her son, Colby Phillips, was given a year in alternative school as punishment for a fight, even though he had no prior disciplinary problems. Holly Cooper says going to the school board is her son's last chance to get his senior year back.

Colby says he understands what he did was wrong.  

"He turned around and hit me in my jaw. It hurt pretty bad. I came up with a bad idea on Monday to get vengeance and ended up hitting him in the eye," Phillips said. "I am really sorry for it."

Colby was immediately booked into the Upshur County Jail on assault charges and as school punishment, he was sentenced to serve the rest of the school year in New Diana ISD's Alternative Education Program.

"It's just really depressing being in DAEP," Phillips said. "I have to sit in a cubicle all day long and don't get to talk to anybody and rarely get taught anything. I'm just hoping to finish out my senior year and do good."

Phillips' mother, a teacher at New Diana, says she was suspicious when her son received 161 days in alternative school, instead of the 30 or 45 days she says students had been given in the past.  

"I didn't think that 30 to 45 days was necessary either if were not going to punish both of the kids. When she said 161 days my heart just sank," Cooper said.

So far, Phillips has served 41 days of his punishment, but his mother is not giving up.

"I have spent countless nights waking up and just trying to understand. Trying to find a way that he deserves this. But I just can't understand it," Cooper said.

Cooper made a grievance against the school asking for them to rethink their punishment, but the administration have upheld their punishment stating Title 37 of their school code, which states the school has the right to use their discretion when assigning punishment on a case by case basis.

"Every situation stands on its own as far as the merits of what took place," said New Diana ISD Superintendent Carl Key. "In the investigation, we will determine lots of different things like the severity of the offense."

Key says because of privacy laws, he cannot tell us why the school believes Phillips deserves the 161 day punishment. He says that in the end its all about safety.

"Safety and security is absolutely our number one priority," Key said. "Certainly teaching is an affect of that. And I will tell parents that getting children here safely in the morning and sending them safely home is absolutely our number on priority."

Cooper says the school has no reason to give her son that extreme of a punishment, taking away his senior year.

"I just want the punishment to fit the crime. I want it to be fair and I want Colby's good record to hold some weight," Cooper said.

Cooper is taking her grievance to the school board on Dec. 4 to try to lessen Colby's punishment. She says that will be his last chance.

Copyright 2012 KLTV. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow