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10-Year-Old Gets $260 Ticket At School

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KFOX 14: A 10-year-old student was given a $260 ticket for disrupting class at his school, KFOX-TV in El Paso reported.

For the boy's mother, the incident all started with a phone call at around 9 a.m. one day.

"Well, the school called me ... and told me that my son had an incident at school," said Charity Walka.

Walka did not know that her son's trouble in class would hit her in the pocket.

She said her son was on medication for a behavioral disorder and couldn't stay awake in class at Travis Elementary School.

"So he fell asleep again, and when they tried to wake him, he got angry," Walka said.

She said her son then left the classroom after a teacher tried to restrain him. She said her son also made noise in the hall. He lay down on the floor and wouldn't get up. For disrupting class, officers at El Paso Independent School District gave her 10-year-old son a ticket for $260, a class C misdemeanor.

Walka said her son did not hurt anyone.

"It was just devastating. I was just so angry. He doesn't understand," Walka said.

The station spoke with EPISD officials who said the ticket is legal under Texas law.

"The Texas Family Code does allow for a student who is 10 years of age or older to be cited under this type of offense," said Berenice Zubia, a spokesperson for EPISD.

A reporter found a copy of the law on a legal Web site, showing it falls under Texas Education Code 37.124, although an age was not specified in that version.

Zubia said it is rare that elementary school students get cited for disrupting class and that the fines collected do not go to the school district. She said students can receive citations after a series of incidences of misbehavior. The tickets then go to a justice of the peace for a final decision.

Walka didn't take the ticket sitting down. She fought it, and it was dismissed.

Papers show she was supposed to go to court on the matter on Tuesday. She said her son was going to have to enter a plea, but she said he would not understand what a plea is.

"I could see him getting a citation for drugs or weapons in the school, but disrupting the class, that just seems a bit much. I don't think the punishment fits the crime," Walka said.

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6 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous October 7, 2009, 9:29 AM

the moron should not have disrupted class

from experience October 7, 2009, 12:42 PM

I taught spe ed for years and speaking from experience, I can say “good for you, Texas school system!”…I’m willing to bet that this wasn’t the first incident that had occurred with this child…inclusion/mainstreaming works wonderfully when there is a spe ed teacher AND a regular ed teacher in the room and when ALL the kids can behave to the extent to learn and not to inhibit others. I LOVED worked with my students who had special needs, it was very rewarding, but I loved the reg ed students just as much and I was pissed when there were interruptions, whether it was my “special friend” or a regular friend. It’s not fair to anyone.

Coral October 7, 2009, 1:54 PM

The kid needs a good beating. I remember when I was in 3rd grade and this one boy was super bad- not only was he annoying but it took time from us. Parents need to teach their kids how to behave.

delta4ce1 October 7, 2009, 5:12 PM

Children with behavioral problems needing medication should not be in a classroom in the first place. We have far too much of this kind of thing going on in schools all over the nation and every minute used to deal with such problems, and others which are numerous, rob behaving students of their right to an education. The fining of parents for their misbehaving kids is a great idea and the needs to be used far more often and teachers need to be encouraged to report such problematic students for the benefit of the other students.

sane individual October 11, 2009, 6:16 PM

Well I believe that the school was wrong for giving the ticket. I understand that disruptions from peers make it difficult for students to learn (I’m an elementary educator), but giving a ticket is out of line. The child needs to be handled in different ways because he is special ed. Have a heart, people.

Also Sane December 17, 2009, 8:15 PM

I agree with everything sane individual wrote. You people are really cold…

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