Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Local News

April 7, 2008

AISD investigates alleged beating

Father: 8th-grade daughter’s project about illegal immigration sparked attack by 21 students

(Continued)



When Melanie came to the office, Hayes said Castleberry took down information about the incident but refused to allow her to call home because he said it would “mess up the investigation.”

Hayes said Monday the district typically allows students to call their parents if they have requested to do so.

“We could have kept in a lot of problems if we would have allowed that to happen,” Hayes said of the decision to not let the student call her parents. “This was a student who was obviously distraught over a — whether she was jumped or not really doesn’t matter — she was distraught and she should have been allowed to call her parents.”

The Bowers family say they have contacted a lawyer and the FBI. A follow-up meeting between the family and school police officers was held Monday afternoon — a gathering that lasted two hours.

“There wasn’t really any new information,” Shera Bowers told the Review after the meeting. “(Chief Reddic) did say he was adamant about catching the people who did this.”

Several parents who contacted the Review Monday said they didn’t send their children to school on Monday because of threats posted on a Web site, MySpace, discussing the incident. Hayes said attendance levels did not appear to be abnormal.

Hayes also said the district will think twice about similar class projects in the future.

“I think that probably what we ought to look at is, if it’s a current issue we probably don’t need a protest poster made on that issue,” he said.

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