DISD Kiddie Kops, Lawyers and Tyrone Hughes Cell Phone

Hughes Cell Phone SeizedEmployee's personal cell phone seized, searched, pictures copied by DISD Police. Why?

Many DISD parents and others read the story in the Dallas Morning News regarding former DISD hall monitor Tyrone Hughes. But things aren't always what they seem on the surface.

As we dug a little deeper, here's what we found.

It all started when Hughes, an ex-NFL superstar, accidentally dropped his personal (non-DISD-issued) cellular phone in a hallway at South Oak Cliff High School and it was picked up by a student.

According to Hughes, he and a supervisor later watched as a campus security camera captured student Clarence Winkfield picking the phone up right after Hughes dropped it.

Winkfield pocketed the phone, took a few pictures with it (photo, video [video requires free Apple Quicktime player]), made a few phone calls on it and then sold it to a fly-by-night cellular phone "broker" for $20 [just to clarify earlier reports: the phone wasn't pawned--it is illegal for pawnbrokers to accept merchandise from minors].

Hughes searched his cellular phone's call records and found that Winkfield called his grandmother, Virginia Johnson, and eventually his mother Hazel Ann Winkfield--a woman who, according to Dallas County, has a criminal history that includes convictions for theft, drugs and multiple acts of prostitution.

The mother would claim, according to an investigation [may have to click on the picture to zoom in] conducted by Robert Walters--an investigator with DISD's new Office of Public Responsibility (created after the procurement card scandal), that Hughes threatened the life of her son on May 4 if the phone wasn't returned.

Hughes would claim that he threatened to call the police and press charges if his cellular phone was not returned.

Walters chose to believe the mother. "[The] evidence suggests that Mr. Hughes had the motive and opportunity to place the threatening calls to the student's mother and grandmother about his well being," wrote Walters.

Hughes would also claim, in a subsequent administrative hearing, that Winkfield's grandmother (Virginia Johnson) threatened to tell the District about "certain pictures" Hughes had on his phone--if Hughes kept threatening to press charges.

The pictures, of course, were of the now-famous private parts of Hughes and a girlfriend that each had taken and emailed to each other's cellular phones.

DISD Police Officer Bruce Weaver and Lieutenant Calvin Howard retrieved Hughes' cellular phone from the Winkfield family.

Neither Weaver nor Howard returned the phone to Hughes.

Instead, according to an email from Weaver, Hughes' personal pictures were "copied" from the phone and sent to South Oak Cliff High School Principal Regina Jones.

None of the pictures, referenced by Jones in her email to Weaver, were inappropriate or even questionable in the least.

Even then, Hughes wouldn't get his phone back.

DISD police, as a matter of fact, would keep Hughes' phone for almost a month. When they finally returned the phone to Hughes, it was missing his "SIM" card (the card containing Hughes' phone numbers and other important information).

Hughes also claimed that pictures were erased from the phone.

Hughes subsequently received a termination letter that accused him of:

  • Possession of obscene and/or pornographic material while on campus

  • Threats made to students and/or parents
  • Insubordination

The crux of the issue, however, remained the pictures of Hughes' (and his girlfriend's) private parts on Hughes' personal cellular phone.

Hughes appealed the firing.

In a tape made at Hughes' "level two" appeal, DISD Attorney Valerie Carrillo defended Winkfield and how he came by Hughes' phone. The phone was not stolen, according to Carrillo, but had been "lost" by Hughes.

"Mr. Hughes talked about it, he dropped his phone and just for the record, that really means an item is lost, not stolen per se," Carrillo said (listen to Carrillo's remarks here).

Hughes was subsequently criticized by Carrillo and Principal Jones for watching the surveillance video that identified Winkfield as the culprit who picked up the "lost" phone.

"So he shouldn't have even been viewing these videos," Carrillo asked Jones? "No, [neither Hughes nor a co-worker] have the authority," replied Jones (listen to the exchange regarding the security cameras).

The surveillance video in question was subsequently erased.

As to why the District chose to believe Winkfield's mother over Hughes, Carrillo said "the grandmother and the parent, really I wouldn't think, would have any reason to lie" (listen to Carrillo's statement).

The District did not, at the time of Hughes' hearing (when the recordings were made), have any statement directly from Winkfield.

"We call that 'hearsay'," said one attorney we interviewed for this article.

Perhaps the most interesting statement made at the hearing regarded the charge of "possession of obscene and/or pornographic material while on campus." Carrillo acknowledged that there is no DISD policy specifically addressing this issue.

Carrillo explained that technology changes so fast that policies can't keep up, and seemed to suggest that District policies might need to be adapted on the fly.

"Technology's so advanced every day that sometimes our laws, especially our laws and policies don't always keep up with every single detail of your own personal cell phone," Carrillo explained, "but I think it could be argued and applied that not just the district's tech equipment but your own equipment [...] I would make that argument that [the policy] would be applicable to your own personal property [...] or equipment" (listen to Carrillo's remarks).

Hughes still has one more level to go in the grievance process: the Board of Trustees. Hughes' appeal was scheduled for December. It has been moved to January.



Commentary:

I have to say that in my years investigating and reporting on DISD, this has to be the most disappointing example of senior-level behavior, and decision-making I've seen.

DISD SWATWorse yet, it involves the very people who are supposed to protect the District from abuse: the Office of Public Accountability and the DISD Police Department.

By the way, if you haven't read Kent Fischer's "DISD response team armed to the teeth" in the Dallas Morning News, it's worth a read.

According to Fischer's investigation, the department spent $50,000 on the elite team including purchasing assault rifles and body armor to deal with "active shooter" situations.

But back to Hughes.

Hughes is convicted on "opportunity and motive" yet "guilt or innocence" seems to have fallen by the wayside.

Translation: did he do it?

It should concern every employee that the District might consider "opportunity and motive" to mean "guilty as charged."

DISD attorney Valerie Carrillo who, as a lawyer, represents and speaks for the District, seemed to defend Winkfield and Winkfield's family at every turn.

We'll freely acknowledge that, just because a person has a criminal record, doesn't mean she is lying.

But to claim that the family of a son who "found a lost phone," used it (more on this in a moment), and hocked it for $20 had no motive for lying might be called a "stretch" by a reasonable person. No?

And calling it a "lost" phone? Let's put this in perspective again.

Tyrone Hughes accidentally dropped his personal cellular phone. A student, Clarence Winkfield, picked it up. Instead of taking it to the lost and found, he used it and sold it. For a dumb guy like me, that sure sounds like theft.

But an attorney pointed us at another interesting section of the Texas Penal Code:

§ 33A.04. THEFT OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE. (a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly obtains or attempts to obtain telecommunications service to avoid or cause another person to avoid a lawful charge for that service by using:

(1) a telecommunications access device without the authority or consent of the subscriber or lawful holder of the device or pursuant to an agreement for an exchange of value with the subscriber or lawful holder of the device to allow another person to use the device;

(b) An offense under this section is:

(1) a Class B misdemeanor if the value of the telecommunications service obtained or attempted to be obtained is less than $500;

How can the DISD Police Department--an organization sworn to uphold the laws of the State of Texas--justify not prosecuting Winkfield for theft of Hughes' service?

Further, we keep asking ourselves why Officer Weaver and the DISD Police department searched Hughes' personal cellular phone in the first place? Why did Weaver share the pictures with a DISD principal, and then keep the phone for almost a month?

There are also questions as to whether DISD's search and seizure of Hughes' phone violated State or federal law.

"This probably is a violation of Title 18 [federal law as it relates to electronic communication], as well as state law dealing with search warrants, seizure without a warrant, etc.," our attorneys told us.

We offered DISD Police Chief John Blackburn a chance to answer several questions. He declined through a DISD spokesman claiming "the investigation" is ongoing (though he did not clarify what "the investigation" was about).

So there we have it: more questions than answers.

Will there be an investigation into DISD's handling of the Hughes affair? Will there be an investigation into other employees' conduct and will another employee be found to have a legacy of questionable behavior in his or her past?

Another question centers around Carrillo's position of apparently making up policies on-the-fly. This (listen to Carrillo again) should have every teacher, staff member, student and parent extremely concerned.

Tyrone Hughes needs to hire a good attorney.

District taxpayers need to get ready to shell out another hefty sum of money to pay for this latest debacle.

Instead of sounding like Christmas, it's sure beginning to sound more like Halloween.

Student Stole the Phone

The student stole the phone once it was not immediately turned into the office or security as lost. And no one had the right to search the personal property of another without a warrant, sell it or retain any part of it. The DISD police, Bruce Weaver, in particular is not an honest man, nor is his cohort Ed Morris. Weaver aided and abetted in the omission of evidence by having the tape erased. Just like he has a history of aiding and abetting in suppressing evidence at other times. I have the evidence to prove it, but the Superintendent did not even want to hear about it. But mind you, Weaver carries on direct conversations with the Superintendent. They have been known to break in to people's homes and collect evidence. So I believe the DISD police department needs to be investigated for their own horrendous actions using a waiver of any of their civil rights just like they use against everyone else.

The search for truth is not in DISD vocabulary, nor as an employer, will DISD ever defend their employees. Their motto is better to error in favor of the student, while trampling all over the civil rights of their employees and destroying their lives needlessly. And is it a coincidence that this is the third time some one by the last name of Johnson has made false allegations? I am beginning to think this family surname is trying to run some type of extortion ring against district employees. Or look at the teacher locked up with immigration on an allegation that was taken almost verbatim from a case published on the Internet.

I cannot believe that the adults in this situation allow students to jeopardize DISD employees' livelihoods or worst use false allegations to go after employees, because they question the powers that be. It does not look like anything has changed at DISD, they are still using their Gestapo tactics.

Personal Vendetta?

Wow, this person must have a personal vendetta against the Mr. Weaver and Mr. Morris. Especially considering that Ed Morris hasn't worked for the district in 2 years and is now a police chief for a metro city....

Morris Is Dirty

If Morris is now a police chief then I feel very sorry for the residents. This man is a hot-headed fraud that will manufacture and/or omit evidence on a whim. I only hope the district attorney monitors this sight and delves into any case tied to Morris, before we find that he has put innocent people in jail or state prison system.

He is an absolute disgrace to the badge and does not belong in the profession.

Is his position appointed or elected, because I have the information to bring him down. I think the feds should keep a very close eye on him and any testimony coming from his mouth can never be taken as anything near the truth.

There is one thing that I hate and that is a dirty cop and this man leaps to the top of the heap.

[Ed Note: First, police offices don't put people in jail or prison--the D.A. does. That being said, there is a question of how appropriately officers acted in this case.]

Mr. Hughes

It's evident that you, Mr. Hughes, nor your readers knew the role that Lt. Calvin Howard played in this cell phone saga.

After it was alleged that threats had been made against the student and his family, Lt. Howard was instructed to meet the grandmother, student, and his sister at a designated location and take them home while also taking possession of the cell phone.

Lt. Howard then met with Mr. Weaver at DISD Police Headquarters and while reviewing the cell phone to ensure that Mr. Hughes did not have inappropriate pictures of students on it is when it was discovered that there were personal pictures of a male and female private body parts.

Because the family felt threaten by Mr. Hughes Lt. Howard was also instructed to pick up the family and bring them to SOC to meet with the principal, Mr. Weaver and the investigator assigned to the incident.

Once the cell phone was turned over to Mr. Bruce Weaver to be reviewed by the Principal to see if she could identify the adults in the pictures, Lt. Howard's involvement was no longer of use. Before trying to discredit Lt. Howard in this matter you need to at least know what was his role.

[Ed Note: Can I ask a question here? Why, after Lt. Howard determined there were no "inappropriate" pictures on the phone (assuming that was the Lt.'s probable cause to seize and search the phone) were any of the contents of Hughes' phone shared with civilians in the District? Why wasn't Hughes' property immediately returned to Hughes?]

My Cell Phone

Stop trying to cover up for you administration's mistakes!

Lt. Howard rode with Bruce Weaver to the grandmother's house and Bruce Weaver picked up the phone from the grandmother and gave the phone to Lt. Howard who did whatever with it and returned it to Bruce Weaver the next morning at SOC.

He came to the school before Bruce Weaver or the parents got there. 30 mins later Bruce Weaver shows up and Lt. Howard gives him the phone and leaves.

The grandmother and student show up about 10 mins later and the mother showed up about 30 mins later.

Bruce gave the phone or disc they copied the pictures on (that they claim they don't have)to Mrs Jones and her and officer Chandler went and looked at them and came back into the meeting room.

Get your facts together before you speak.

[Ed Note: Yes, the argument that the phone was "lost" as opposed to stolen is tenuous. I wouldn't want to have to make that case in court!]

Winkfield's Parents and 911

Why didn't the parents call DPD if their kid was being threatened. Oh, yea, the mama already knew the cops quite well. They wanted to make trouble, that's all.

[Ed Note: Yeah, and why did the grandmother go to the newspaper instead of calling the police? Sure seems like 911 would have been easier to dial than running down Tawnelle!]

It's Not The Police, It's The Administration

Allen thank you for writing the story and uncovering information that was public knowledge.

I have no problems with DISD police, I think the ones that are actually on the school sites do a great job. The problem is with the administration and the laws that govern them.

With regards to my problem, the powers that be never took the time to find out weather of not I had threatened the student, they just knew the grandmother went to the newspaper with that claim and removed me from the campus.

I would hope that if it was a REAL DISD POLICE OFFICER OR INVESTIGATOR they would have done just that, INVESTIGATE IT.

The fact that they would go to the newspaper and not the police should have given them a clue. The fact that I did call the police and the newspaper, should have told them I had nothing to hide. The pictures were never an issue because they were not viewed on campus and there are no rules or policies pertaining to it.

DISD police officers do there jobs as fairly as school administrators. They don't like the paper work just like principals don't. If they can avoid doing it or giving out tickets, they will. The tickets are not a deterrent to the students because their parents have to pay them and if the parent doesn't have the money, form my understanding, the child can still come to school.

The laws for the students are not harsh enough and the parents what teaches to be babysitters but not disciplinarians.

I found about 15 small bags of weed on a student, he was arrested, a month later he was back at school. Explain that one to me. So it's not the police department, it's the folks at the top who are running it.

[Ed Note: We're not done with DISD police yet.]

Tyrone Hughes and DISD Police!!

Are you kidding me with this??? This man, Tyrone Hughes is the true victim here! Man, we have so many good people working for DISD and this kid...Mother and son should be Scolded!! Along with DISD Cover ups!!

When did DISD become it's own little city with it's own little rights that can we as Americans can disregard our civil/criminal laws of United States and the State of Texas?

I am currently fighting Hearing after hearing and yet no nudge of improvement! Remaining to comdemn my 13 year old son of his rights of "innocent until proven guilty in a court of law", furthermore, withholding the proper evidence of clearing my son and all the injustice they continue to carry out on my son!

Accusing him of carrying PCP when realty it is a 500mg of Niacin bought at Vitamin Shoppe off Greenville Ave! They have so-call physical evidence but yet it fails to come up in every hearing we have! Even the over-zealous Det. Libbee refuses to share any proof with me! So, now Parents looses rights?

Refusing to admit that they were wrong, the prefer to continue to send my son to wayside at Dallas County Juvenile Justice with no case against him except with DISD Police.

I have news for them, if they haven't got it by now. I have played an active part of my children's education and schools with many years and hours of volunteered time...I will not give up until they admit that they falsely accused my son and reconstruct what they did to my torn family!!

Final thought...Think...How many children, District Employees and good educators lives have been torn apart, thanks to the mishandling of DISD Police and DISD cover-ups?

So, Mr. Hughes...Don't give up!! A lesson that GOD and DISD taught me...God doesn't give you what he knows you can't handle.

Phone Wasn't Theft

Picking a phone up off the ground is not stealing it.

Making harassing phone calls to a student, no matter what, is wrong.

No DISD employee would bring porn to school via their personnel laptop in fear of being exposed or even let go.

There were two wrongs in this story: the student not turning in the phone to the office (morals?) and the employee not being professional towards the student....

DISD doesnt have time to focus on this petty stuff you guys, DISD is trying to the best the best urban school district by 2010.... and then what? thats the question to ask and not why some guy is getting harassed by Dallas cover ups...

[Ed Note: So would it be safe to say that if someone found the keys to your car, that you dropped on the ground, and then drove your car and sold it--that wouldn't be theft either?]

Cell Phone Lost and Found

I have already admitted on this web site to being really old. So here is my silly question.

Do schools no longer have a LOST AND FOUND?

Why is it not stealing to have found said phone and instead of takeing it to the office you took it home?

If a child finds a school soccer ball on the school grounds after school and takes it home, what do you call that? BORROWING?

What if a student drops his lunch money and another kid picks it up and spends it?

Would Andy and Barney call that keepers weepers or would they explain the difference to Opie ? Get Real!

Re: LOST Phone

Editor: "So would it be safe to say that if someone found the keys to your car, that you dropped on the ground, and then drove your car and sold it--that wouldn't be theft either?"

No, it would not be safe to say b/c the law clearly states that stealing a car is illegal...but, no law says that you can't pickup a phone off the ground and circulate the media on the phone....

No matter what you think is stealing or not, I question the employees's moral terpitude as a public school educator...

He ought to be fired. One less idiot in DISD. We already have enough to deal with, like getting all Sp. Ed. kids to pass TAKS and a Sp. Ed. administration that doesn't know how to interpret TEA guidelines for the 1% and 2% rule.

Get rid of the trash.

[Ed Note: You should probably talk to your lawyer about the statement in the first paragraph. Ours seems to think that the whole thing constitutes theft--on the part of several individuals and an organization. I'm not excited about people bringing questionable photos into the schoo, but where do you draw the line? How about you as a parent? Does the District have a right to ban certain content on your private cell phone--or search it at their whim?]

The Cell Phone

We are trying to be number 1! SO what? who cares? Does anyone else see the relevence relation to this?

What does this have to do with the article?

They are trying...WHAT?!HELLO!

Frankly I am not amused;just bored.It would seem ok with you as long as it didn't happen to you or your kid.

What about the fact that the kid sold the phone for 20 bucks?!

Why would someone do that? To get rid of evidence?

Knowingly and with intent is always in our penal codes.

The first 10 admendments to the U.S. Constitution are the bill of rights, how many were violated?

If you give a corrupt person power it will be abused and corrupted. Absolute power /absolute corruption.

What to do when more than one agency is involved?

Is this the beginning of something?

[Ed Note: I still wonder why the family didn't call 911 if they felt like they were being threatened or harassed? Seems a lot easier to dial than tracking down a reporter at the newspaper!]

"Kiddie Cops"

You know, the fact that the site would condone the term "kiddie cop" on a website that is supposed to professionally show what is going on within a school district is outrageous. The term alone is a joke. DISD Police have done an excellent job, but just as with any new organization there are some growing pains.

Instead of focusing on some of the positive things that the police department has done, you continue to belittle and make fun of an organization whose sole intention is to help the kids of the district.

This is actually the first I've heard of this deal, so let me throw some things out there. Has Winkfield actually requested that charges be pressed in the matter? Was there civil restitution made at any point?

[Ed Note: I think you meant Tyrone Hughes instead of Winkfield. We're going to need to wait until (when/if) his attorney decides to move forward.

With respect to the term "Kiddie Kops," I'm sorry you're offended. However, through interaction and observation, I haven't been able to figure out why DISD has a police department.

Further, I would take exception to your term "new organization." They've been around for several years. It seems to me that the Dallas Police would be a much better organization to handle/report crime at schools.

As soon as school returns to session, we're going to make a bunch of public information requests. If I discover this position is wrong, I'll write a new story (or update this one).

It sounds, however, like you're a fan of the department. Perhaps you can share some of your more positive experiences with us. Further, perhaps you can explain why they kept Hughes' cell phone, extracted and shared his pictures. Maybe you can also help shed some light on situations that we've previously reported such as an officer refusing to take a report of possible gang activity (link in the story above).]

Police Everywhere

DISD should take note of every single other school district in the area (you know, the more successful ones) and just use the city's cops to handle this stuff.

I'm starting to think the only reason Dallas has so many problems in general is because there are too many different arms of power (Dallas Police, DART Police, DISD Police....).

It's stupid! Why?

Because the lines of power/jurisdiction are blurred beyond all recognizable sense. What's next?

A prison especially for DISD... maybe a special jailhouse for those who speed in the HOV lane? Only in Dallas...

Police Departments Galore

Police Everywhere ?

Yes -- there are DISD, RISD, County, State, Hospital, College, Transportation, and other police fighting crime within the Dallas city limits. The Dallas Police Department and City Council LOVE it this way because only the City Of Dallas Police Department crimes show up on the FBI / Uniform Crime Reporting statistics for the City Of Dallas. If all the other departmental crimes were combined with crimes from Dallas P.D., Dallas might well lead the nation in all categories of reportable crimes. DART alone has thousands of crimes each year that do not get "mingled" in with City Of Dallas crimes -- even though they transpire within Dallas City limits.

That is why it is just GREAT to have a half dozen police agencies acting independently. The action adds to the "smoke and mirrors" and causes an inaccurate total crime picture.

Police Emergency Calls

What Phone Number For Police Emergency ?

A police emergency occurs while riding on a DART bus or train. Out comes the cell phone and "911" is dialed --- whoops ... WRONG ! One needs to look around the DART vehicle to fine the 214-xxx-xxxx number for DART Police. They have jurisdiction there. While on public school property and a crime is observed -- does one call the DISD police or "911" ? .. While in a Dallas hospital and police are needed -- does one call "911" or hospital security?

The above are great questions. And remember, delays in calling the correct phone number can result in further property loss, injury or death to a victim. What a predicament Dallas citizens find themselves in at times --- let alone a visitor to our city.

[Ed Note: Everytime I've called 911, they have transferred me to DART PD or DISD. But others seem to have had other experiences.]

Police Everywhere

Do you not think that all cities have more than one police agency?

[Ed Note: Certainly they do! The question is: do we need one here--and if so, what do they do. As it turns out, we're in the process of answering this question and we were surprised with the answer we've arrived at. Is your curiosity peaked yet?]

DISD Police: More Claims

DISD has a police department that does more on a daily basis than Dallas PD ever did.

Dallas PD simply did not have the staffing devoted to the schools that the DISD Police have. The officers on the campus level, care about their students and have a vested interest in their success.

The officers interact and establish a positive relationship with the students on the campus which enables them to recieve information from the students in regards to weapons on campus, drugs on campus, etc.

Sure there will be people who say that Dallas PD did better and they liked them in the schools better, etc.

But for the most part the positive relationships being built between DISD Police and the students are invaluable. These relationships can't be measured by numbers, no open records request will show this information...but it's there.

Students lives are being impacted daily, on a positive note, by these officers.

Also, DISD Police Officers handle matters that Dallas Police Officers wouldn't handle. There have been cases of officers assisting parents in cases of academic fraud, talking to students about a kid running away from home, etc. These aren't things that Dallas Police Officers would do on a regular basis.

In regards to the Hill situation there are just too many variables at play to determine why a report was not taken.

Also something to note, if I remember correctly anything that an employee has on the campus is subject to search if reasonable suspicion exists.

Dallas ISD has had a police department what 4 years now? Why not go back and see where DART PD was after 4 years. Were they making arrests, filing cases, etc? How about the Constable offices in the first 4 years? DISD Police is still new, and there are going to be growing pains.

[Ed Note: See this is exactly where I thought you were going to head with this. You're making a lot of claims here. If this department chooses to remain closed, somewhat of a "secret" police department, then does it really function in the best interest of the District and its taxpayers?

I hope you'll agree with me that these claims, while valiant in prose, may or may not be accurate. In other words: unsubstantiated.

You sound like someone who has a vested interest in this department. Perhaps you can help document some of these claims.]

Unsubstantiated?

I'm curious as to how you feel that the department is "closed." You seem to be the one who is not open to the facts of the matter. You claim that points made are unsubstantiated and ask for me to agree with you on that fact. I do not agree. While the points can not be backed with numbers does not mean that they are no valid points.

You want facts that can be substantiated. Here's an example. How about the decrease in cheese arrests and the increase in calls requesting help. This shows that they are keeping the drugs off of campus but still getting the message.

Dallas PD is giving up the Freeways to the County Sheriff's so that they can increase their presence in the neighborhoods. They are cutting ICP and other programs to help respond to calls. However you continue to say that Dallas PD could handle all of the situations within the schools. That seems to directly contradict what is going on in the real world....

[Ed Note: Well, before going any further, let's look at your previous post:

"DISD has a police department that does more on a daily basis than Dallas PD ever did"

"The officers on the campus level, care about their students and have a vested interest in their success"

"The officers interact and establish a positive relationship with the students on the campus which enables them to recieve information from the students in regards to weapons on campus, drugs on campus, etc"

This is one of the better ones: "But for the most part the positive relationships being built between DISD Police and the students are invaluable. These relationships can't be measured by numbers, no open records request will show this information...but it's there"

"DISD Police Officers handle matters that Dallas Police Officers wouldn't handle. There have been cases of officers assisting parents in cases of academic fraud, talking to students about a kid running away from home, etc"

There are people who claim that the moon landing was staged, Elvis is still alive and living in Mabank, Texas, and Ron Price really didn't speak English until he was a teenager!

Until you can prove the claims you make, then expect to have them labeled as "unsubstantiated."

When Chief Blackburn produces incident reports to show that DISD's police department is really prosecuting criminals (the primary purpose of a police department), then we can start moving some of these things in the "substantiated" column.

Right now, all you have are claims--not facts.

As I say: you seem to have a vested interest in this department, perhaps you can help them produce documents and records to back some or all of this up.]

Unsubstantiated

Allen all you have to do is an open records request to Dallas ISD Police CID to get the number of investigations conducted by the CID Detectives, arrests made by officers and detectives, cases filed by DISD Police Detectives, and even the monthly Chief Blotter which will support and substantiate what DISD Police have been doing in the 4 years since their transition from a security force to a police department.

[Ed Note: They deny quite a bit of this based on FERPA. I'm working to try and get more information. I've just ben swamped of late.]

What the heck is FERPA

What the heck is FERPA?

[Ed Note: Google is your friend]

Prosecution is not by cops

Allen--maybe you simply mispoke there? POLICE do not *prosecute.* District Attorneys do.

Any criminal case on a campus must still go to the DA's office. And they do. One of the questions asked by a DPD or DISD PD cop in a matter witnessed by a teacher is, "By making this statement, are you willing to appear in court to testify to this, if you are called?"

Now, that could be seen as intimidation, but more often, it is because they will go for a case on a major fight or drug deal, only to have the teacher back out of fear of retaliation by the student or his family. If the adult who witnessed the incident refuses to testify, why pursue it?

Also, and this will sound strange, but not all "gang activity" is prosecutable. Most of it is more disciplinary. Tagging, fights, yep. Go to court, especially now with the cameras installed. But the wearing of colors, or the posting up on the corner? Well, harder to prosecute. Kids (sigh) still have rights, too.

I agree with the observation that many of the DISD cops have built relationships with the students and faculty. Something not seen by DPD. In fact, most DPD cops were told to stay in their offices, or in their cars, as not to antagonize the kids.

You ask for documentation? Well, tell us how to *document* kids talking to the cop as they walk in the door in the morning. How do you *document* the interaction that is not written down? Are you suggesting that the DISD PD keep a log of every kid they talk to? Every smile they get?

The issue you keep bringing up about transparency is valid for ALL governmental agencies. If there was dereliction of duty, okay. If there was suppression--well, again, that goes more to the DISD top brass. The cops, in my opinion, are not personally interested in the statistics. Kind of like ticket quotas in speed traps. Unless you want to mandate obvious enforcement by tickets, how do you judge it? I mean, because there is less crime reported in Highland Park, does that mean their PD does a great job in protection, or do they cover it up? (Well, in the case of underage drinking, I guess they do, don't they?)

[Ed Note: Note to self: we're officially picking on Highland Park now! You bring up an interesting point. How do you document interaction between police officers and kids? I'd bring up another point: can that interaction only happen between a DISD police officer and a kid, or could this positive interaction happen between others (teachers, principals, hall monitors, security personnel, etc.) and the kid? We need to get down to brass tacks. Again, what benefit is there for DISD to have its own police department?]

DISD PD Interaction

DISD Police use more discretion when it comes to criminal charges.

When DPD was on the campus they would just arrest, or write tickets at the drop of a hat.

DISD Police take an extra step and many times write incident reports and refer the matter to be handled by the principal in lieu of citations or arrests taking place.

There are times when students should be prosecuted, then there are times that the teacher or administrator is just as wrong and the student shouldn't get a ticket.

This discretion is used by officers on the street everyday. The officers inside the school have the ability to handle a situation with the administration instead of instantly making a student a criminal.

Benefits? Allow me to list a few:

More officers on the campus. DISD Police have an officer assigned to every High School and is in the process of staffing all of the middle schools.

Officers who are more aware of the Texas Education Code. Able to assist administrators with the law.

Officers who have a vested interest in the children and want to see the students succeed. Most of the officers came to DISD to interact with the students and to help them.

Handles call for service that would normally have fallen to Dallas PD. Thereby freeing up Dallas PD to handle calls in the community (remember they have to answer ALL alarms now)

Assisting other agencies with school related issues. The officers know their kids and often times are contacted by other agencies (Dallas PD, DART, other Police Departments) to assist in criminal investigations.

There are more but I am interested in seeing your response to there. You seem to question the need for the department, but I would be interested into why you feel that way.

[Ed Note: I highlighted a portion of your post. It agrees with what a Dallas Police Sergeant said about DISD PD. It would also tend to explain why a report wasn't taken in the situation at the Junior High.

Police officers have a sworn responsibility to enforce the laws in the State of Texas. If they're referring possible criminal situations to the "principal in lieu of citations or arrests" then they are likely not adhering to that.

Again, I'm asking why DISD has sworn peace officers--and what job they do that can't be done by other school personnel.]

What the police can do

Allen, you ask what why some of their work can't be done by other DISD personnel? As for interactions with students, yea, anyone can.

A librarian can talk to kids and steer them away from trouble. But DISD personnel, CANNOT HANDCUFF, MACE, ARREST OR TICKET. Only a COP can.

Several people have now posted that while we respect DPD, they could not meet the demands put on them by DISD Schools. If you argue on cost, okay, then as you say: show me a better way. You have three options:

1. Use DPD only--they tried it and did not like the results.

2. Use "security" only, no armed response, no arrest ability. Kind of like the respect shown for the parking lot attendant, right?

3. Have a DISD PD. That is what they are doing now.

Two years ago, I walked into my high school during the first week of summer school. A mother told me she had witnessed a teenager seemingly sell drugs to kids as they boarded the buses to other high schools for classes. So, I called DISD PD with a description and facts as she knew them.

THE VERY NEXT DAY, DISD PD had at least one unit in civilian clothes there to observe. (I would say, "Undercover," but let's not get all "Law and Order" here.) They were able to ID what was going on, and let's just say, the problem was solved.

Now, I am NOT slamming DPD. BUT! If I had called the subdivision or even Narcotics, they would have taken the report, and eventually, maybe, someone would have come along in a week or so. The beat cop would drive by, but the kid would have just moved his business elsewhere until he went around the corner.

By having our own dept, DISD could use immediate resources to ID the kid and stop what could have been a BIG problem, as that was the summer of "cheese."

[Ed Note: I would be interested in seeing the arrest and incident reports. I do know that DPD used to bring drug dogs into schools to sniff out drugs in lockers and such. Do you know if that is still being done?]

Drug Dogs

While visiting a school last year, the drug dogs did come in a sweep the school. All it takes is a phone call to the PTA president or even the school. They will tell you yes or no about the drug dogs and if it is a method that is still employed in the DISD.

Drug Dogs

They have brought drug dogs in, but it is kept on the down low. The district doesn't want taxpaying people to know about and yet another issue that is going relatively unchecked. For example, a first grader brought three rocks of crack to Highland Meadows Elementary this year! When the principal called the DISD police AND her Learning Community Leader, no one responded. She requested the dogs-no response.

Most employees will tell you that this year the response by DISD cops is not as quick or efficient as it once was. The main reason is that the district has crucified another of the few competent employees who care about kids and customer service. I am talking about Assistant Police Chief Donovon Collins. He was axed because of a degree from a "non-accredited" university. The investigation was bogus-based on a anonymous complaint (remember the 3 cops a few weeks ago? It is illegal to investigate cops based on anonymous complaints!)

I guess it just hasn't gotten bad enough for people to start asking real hard questions about this district and it's "leadership" that operates in a manner reminiscent of the mafia.

[Ed Note: Since when is it illegal to investigate cops based on "anonymous complaints?" It might be negligent not to investigate anonymous complaints.]

Donovan Collins Quit

Collins quit, he was not fired. Not to mention the fact that everyone wants to preach about accountability but using a non accredited degree in an attempt to gain an advancement in the career. That would be a violation of state law. But lets increase accountability.

Allen I believe she is referring to the government code which requires that a complaint against a police officer must be in writing prior to an investigation being conducted.

Highland Meadows. Someone might want to let this writer that absolutely nothing can be done legally to anyone under the age of 10. Plus there might just be more to that situation.

[Ed Note: I think that's a requirement for an IAD (internal affairs) investigation, not a criminal investigation, isn't it?]

Drug Dogs Work But Expensive

DISD has used drug dogs, but it is expensive, and they do not own one. They have to be scheduled in advance.

In the past, the schools were tipped off they were coming.

Drugs would disappear for a few days. When they have surprised the campus, believe it or not, it was actually great to find out that on my campus of over 2,000 kids, they found maybe 4-5 kids holding anything. Now, if it were 1975, come on, the numbers would have been way higher.

The "cheese" thing was a wake up call to DISD and the city.

Push for the money for a drug dog dedicated to DISD, then you would really see deterrence in action!

DISD Police

Also there is a distinct difference between refusing to enforce the law and exercising discretion. A quick lesson in law for you. There are very few occasions in the law which requires an arrest (family violence, violation of protective order, etc). Some departments go further than that and remove discretion on other items (DWI, Suspended License, etc). But other than those situations the officer has some discretion on what actions to take.

According to your reasoning if an officer fails to write a ticket or make an arrest on an offense than he is not keeping true to his oath of office. Then using that same line of reasoning, if a Dallas Police officer stops you or your family for speeding are you going to insist that he write you a ticket so that he is not violating his oath of office? Or would it be alright for him to give you a warning because you weren't going "too" fast.

[Ed Note: I'm not talking about discretion. Let's go back to the Hill incident. If an officer refuses to investigate or take a report regarding possible gang activity, don't you think this stretches that oath a bit?

I'm still questioning the purpose of this department. So far you've come up with: it saves DPD work, they're kinder/gentler with the kids/parents/etc., and they refer possible criminal matters to principals instead of arresting the kids (which is what the Dallas Police likely would be doing). Does that sum it up?

I'd be interested in examples of situations where the Dallas Police might make an arrest, but where DISD Police would not--and the justification for the example.]

DISD Police and an Idea?

I have read the majority of the comments on this stream and see that there are two main arguments: Why does DISD have a police department and arguments in favor of them having a police department.

The fact is that most, if not all, large school districts need a police department to handle the specialized policing needs of the districts. This should be the safety and security of the students and faculty, along with investigating crimes that occur on the campus, or within the jurisdiction of the agency. The secondary benefit of having the school district police departments is that it relieves the municipality or county law enforcement from having to deal with the issues in the districts, and allows them to primarily focus on their residents. Unfortunately, once district politics get involved, the primary course and scope of the department, if you will, becomes a bit blurry.

A second fact is that agencies such as school districts, college districts, hospital districts, transit authorities, railroad commissions, etc... need, and have, separate police agencies to handle their issues. They are a fact of life, whether you agree with their existence or not. So arguing for or against is a waste of time.

Now, what needs to be addressed it the fact that the police administrators of these agencies tend to have their hands tied and have to restrict their officer's activities at the direction of a body of government that is normally looking out for the best interest of that body of government. Having said that, each governmental entity has it's own set of problems and political issues, so some of these problems are not just restricted to the specialized agencies. The bottom line is that these officers are quite frequently restricted from performing normal police functions due to the policies set from their board of directors. Why does this happen? I would venture to say bad publicity, crime statistics, money, and a wealth of other reasons.

Okay, there are two things that need to be addressed here. The second is the actions of individuals. If, in fact, officers acted in a manor that was not according to their policies or in a manner that brought discredit to their agencies, then they should be dealt with on an individual basis. Just because you question the actions of one or two officers, does that negate the purpose of the department? No. If that were the case, we would not have a police agency in America.

By far, the majority of the law enforcement agencies in America are honest, hard working men and women, who have a need to serve their community. Unfortunately, you do get a few people, wearing a police uniform, who might have been meant for a different occupation. That being said, a few people not meant for the job does not ruin the department or the profession. Let's give the department a break and focus on actual violations by individuals. If it is determined that the officers acted in the wrong, deal with them and stop lumping them in with the good ones.

But, that's just my opinion.

NewGuy out.

[Ed Note: But you hit the nail on the head. You raised the issue of the police department looking out for the special interests of the organization. I'd go a step further and add: "at the expense of law enforcement."

I'd like to add that this is a complex issue for which there may be no easy answer--but the question still remains: why does DISD need its own police department?

An interesting scenario might be to attach the DISD police to the Dallas Police as a special unit--such that there would be external oversight on the department? It would also open the department up to the resources available to the Dallas Police.]

DISD Police

Ask the students, faculty, and parents of Columbine High School why a school district needs police officers. Ask the University of Texas why it needs police officers. Ask any number of schools that have suffered the tragedy of a shooting at their school. Then, if you still can’t see why DISD needs a police department...well, I cant help you.

The reasons behind specialized police agencies go far beyond the mere need for ownership. With the way the world has changed over the past ten plus years, even twenty plus years, there is a need for police officers in schools. The sad fact is that the youth of today are much more rebellious than any of the youths who grew up during the "Rebel Without a Cause" years. These kids have grown up in far worse home situations and have endured more real violence than you and I ever did, and I am talking from a military and police standpoint. Because of the lack discipline at home, the lack of discipline in the schools, the lack of parent involvement, and a number of other factors, there is a need for police officers to be in the schools. Again, it is a sad fact that in our society, of which we claim is soooo superior to everyone else, we have lost control of our children to the point that police have to be around them for the majority of the time.

Not meaning to go on a rant, but we have problems like this and we are telling other nations and societies that THEY are screwed up. Don’t you think as a society we need to get our stuff straight before we start telling others to get theirs straight??? Sorry, went off track. Anyway...

I will give you the fact that school district police departments have yet to really get their feet on the ground, but you have to understand that compared to ANY city in America, the school districts are relatively new at this field and they are experiencing growing pains. Talk to the DISD 10 years from now, no make it 2 years from now and you will see changes. They may not have everything fully together for a while. It takes time to staff, educate, and fully integrate a police department into ANY area that was not used to having one. Give the guys a break. Not meaning to use old and worn out phrase, but "Rome was not built in a day."

NewGuy out.

[Ed Note: So (let's start with the first paragraph), you're saying that DISD needs police officers because of the possibility of school shootings? Now to the last paragraph: don't you believe one of the the best ways to ensure that DISD's police are not "built in a day" is to hold the department accountable for its actions?]

DISD Police

School shootings are only part of the theory behind the need for school district police departments. Once you add other issues like students behavior getting out of control, higher student to teacher ratios, sexual predators lurking around school property, student/teacher conflicts, child custody issue, and the ever changing face of today’s society, it is necessary to increase the protection of our kids.

In today's America you will find police officers everywhere, such as churches, stores, restaurants, movie theaters, etc... Primarily that is an off-duty function. This is because our police agencies are so short handed that they don’t have enough officers to be there. When you have something as important as the protection of children and the people who are responsible for their education, it is paramount that the school districts have dedicated police officers to be available. Some (higher paying) city agencies have enough officers in their department that they can assign an officer to the schools. Higher staffing and lower crime affords those agencies to have dedicated school resource officers in the schools. The sad fact is that Dallas PD is understaffed just like every other major city in America. The suburban cities tend to pay more money; therefore they attract officers away from major cities like Dallas. When an officer can get paid more money and deal with less headaches, it is a no-brainer that he/she will vacate the major city for greener pastures. So, when your major cities are having difficulty keeping officers, it is common sense that things such as call priority, response time, and availability of man-power restricts the larger cities from being able to respond to the schools unless it is an emergency. As I said before, your specialized police agencies are here to stay. Don’t be shocked if somewhere down the line you will see more.

As usual, I went off the deep end, but I completely agree that agencies such as DISD need to be held accountable for the actions of their officers. All I am saying is that you need to give them that opportunity to take care of business, instead of disbanding their department. Again, if an officer screws up, handle that officer...not the department. I don't see any of you wanting to disband the Dallas Police Department or asking why we need Dallas PD when they have fake drug scandals, female officers getting into a fight with each other at restaurants, excessive force complaints, police chases that end in tragedy. Sorry Dallas, not picking...just making a point.

Again, my 2 cents.

NewGuy out.

[Ed Note: Keep in mind that we're investigating the DISD police further. We should have another thread on the subject next week.]

DISD vs DPD vs teachers

I thought I had written this in another blog piece, but maybe not.

The DPD CANNOT STAFF the DISD buildings sufficiently. Seriously. They can't even man the streets. They have trouble filling slots to protect our homes as it is!

When they put a DPD cop in the high schools, then they had to share him with the junior highs, which means he isn't there half the time. If they call one off the streets, there is a situation of leaving a beat uncovered.

Also, the tension in the community with DPD was a hindrance. Yes, there are parents who actually teach their kids to spit at, lie to or disregard a DPD officer whenever they can.

The DISD PD is a good idea. They have done a lot of good on many campuses. When they have the access to drug dogs, when they can get enough officers hired themselves, when they can now staff ALL junior highs with a cop, then you will see a change.

The big problem can come when DISD top brass do not want the crime stats to reflect life in DISD. They could not control the DPD and their reporting. (Well, actually, they can, as in a previous administration has shown. They actually made a big butt riot at Skyline "disappear" from the public view about 3-4 years ago. Moses was a genius at getting the media to shut up.)

As for arrests, well, you hit a sore spot with teachers. There is confusion on what is or is not an arrestable offense. What is or is not a ticketable offense.

You see, they don't want the teachers to know that UNDER THE LAW, YOU CAN "TOUCH" A CHILD TO GET HIM TO STOP DOING WHATEVER HE IS DOING. Now, that doesn't mean slap him when he is late to class; it means if he is refusing to come with you to the office, you CAN make him go. You CAN take his ID card off his neck. You CAN stop them from leaving an area.

You see, this is a very hidden thing in DISD. Parents tell their kids to "stand up for themselves." They think that means "nobody can tell me what to do or touch me--ever."

Not true. STATE LAW supports the teacher. But they don't want us to know it, because then they would have to defend us in court. So, they tell teachers--honest to God--- that if you get hurt while breaking up a fight, it's on you. If you tell the kids to stop, intervene and they pop you in the face, you CANNOT get them for it.

But! If you so much as pull their shirt, oh, God, their mothers are calling the local news that their baby was assaulted by a teacher. This year alone, several teachers have gotten into trouble for trying to STOP violence. So, guess what? Maybe next time, when it's your kid in the hallway, trying to get to P.E., or its your nephew coming out of the band hall and gets hit with a coke can, don't blame the teachers. If they stand around and do NOTHING, it is because that is what DISD wants them to do.

Don't believe me? Ask them what the policies are on ID's on kids necks, or using reasonable force to stop a kid.

And think about what happened when those kids pulled the fire alarm? The DISD cop got into trouble because he called them out on it. Something that would have happened to us when we were kids.

[Ed Note: There's a big difference between a police department and security. I don't think anyone is arguing that the schools do not need security. I think what is being questioned is whether or not a police department is needed.

You, yourself, point out that there are questionable reporting practices. When DISD called the Dallas Police to handle violations of the law, there was documentation. Lawbreakers went to jail.

This is, according to some in the Dallas Police Department, why DISD got its own police department.

As I say, this is on a long list of things where light needs to shine.]

Teachers Prohibited From Calling 911

Allen, you answered your own question. DISD needs a police force because the DPD could not staff it adequately.

Also, do you really think it was EASIER to have a DPD officer show up? Uh-uh.

The irony here is that if a teacher tried to call 911, they would be threatened with termination.

Seriously. I personally know of a teacher who years ago, called 911 when a student reported to her that a man had just attempted to pull her into a car to do who knows what.

After the police came, they were able to get enough info to catch the guy. Was the teacher given accolades? Nope, she was threatened with a reprimand "for not following procedure." Huh?

You see, back then, before DISD PD, and even now, teachers are NOT allowed to call 911. (If you don't believe me, ask DISD.)

Why?

Well, when that teacher called 911 about the molester, she gave the address as ****** high school. Being a new teacher, and not having any administrators on hand at the time (7:15 a.m.), she thought she was smart. Nope. When that call went out, who hears it? The media. They listen for addresses.

So, even to this day, DISD personnel MAY NOT call 911.

Exception: Columbine situation, of course. If you think your classroom is on fire, call the office. If someone drops with a heart attack, call the office. If someone just drove by the school with a gun waving at you, call the office. They then call "downtown." Then THEY call the DPD on a back number, and the call is dispatched away from the media's ears.

What can't they control? The kids. The Trustees okayed cell phones. So, a kid can call 911, but teachers cannot.

And your idea that SECURITY can control the gangs? Ha! They can't detain, arrest, search, etc... They have no weapons in case everything goes to pot. We NEED a police force.

What you are insinuating about a gang incident not being reported--uh, that happened with DPD as well. I know because a few years ago, the local paper listed the number of weapons found on DISD campuses. I knew then of two schools not mentioned.

Now, is it the cop's fault, or the administration's fault when they want to control what is reported? You see, that is how riots become fights, fights become disturbances, disturbances become a "disciplinary matter" outside of a cop's reach. The DISD cops are actually frustrated in that they serve two masters: downtown and the principal. If the principal wants a ticket issued, they still check with downtown.

So, to ask what you ask us: Come up with a better solution. How would you handle law enforcement for 227 schools, an additional 6 stadiums, 158,000 students and 18,000 employees?

Oh, and DISD PD CAN issue traffic tickets. They have jurisdiction in school zones, but prefer to leave that to DPD or the constables. If someone sees a problem with traffic, call DPD Traffic division and complain to them. If DISD PD did it, they would have to pay overtime, as the cops work in schools from 8:15-4:30.

[Ed Note: I'd like to see documentation that prohibits a teacher from calling 911. Also, the scenario you document is exactly why DISD doesn't need a police department. A police department that operates secretly and closed is not in the best interest of DISD, teachers, students, parents or taxpayers. We need to find out what these guys do all day.]

DISD 911-Policy

I don't know if teachers CAN call 911, but I do know if they want to keep their jobs, they'd better not. ALL DISD teachers know that! Following an unusually heavy run of bad PR at Spruce a couple of years ago, our then Principal not only addressed this issue in a faculty meeting, he got on the PA system the next day (apparently someone missed the meeting) and threatened to transfer any teacher caught calling the news or the police from work.

And to the person who said teachers can "legally" force a student physically to... (do whatever); have you lost your mind??? You obviously do not have a clue about conditions in our schools. A teacher at our school was hospitalized for months and never returned to work again after attempting to do just what you're suggesting.

[Ed Note: As I say, we'd love to talk to someone who has been disciplined for calling 911.]

Disciplined for calling 911

I was the teacher who called the DPD when a girl was almost kidnapped near the school where I was teaching. When I told the principal, I was verbally reprimanded. Nothing on paper, but it was made QUITE CLEAR that we were never to call out for help.

Of course, this was before 9/11. Maybe they would be more generous and forgiving now. Maybe not.

[Ed Note: Yeah, that was quite a while back. We'd like to find something more recent. Perhaps you can put the word out.]

DISD Write Tickets

Yup I know first hand that DISD Police can write tickets...they go to the JP Court.

As far as teachers calling 911. This might be a school rule, but teachers call 911 on a very regular basis. If the call is of a true emergency then Dallas PD responds as well as Dallas ISD Police. If it is not an actual emergency then they get sent over to Dallas ISD Police.

911: To Call Or Not

No, it is a quietly understood DISD policy. If teachers are calling 911, man, please tell us which schools, or rather, under what circumstances... At mine, you can't, and where I taught before, you can't. I was even on a campus where there was a minor shooting--of you can call it that---and we weren't allowed to call.

I also know that when this thread was mentioned to other teacher friends, they told me the same thing: no calling.

[Ed Note: It is either a policy or it is not. It can't be a policy if it is not published! I would like to know how this is communicated, and if we can get a copy of something in writing.]

Thanks for Hughes Story

Thank you for taking the time to do the research and ask the hard questions on Tyrone Hughes' case--and then make that information easily available to the public.

[Ed Note: ...and it's starting to hit the nationwide news sources!]

The Office of Professional Responsibility

What is the most disconcerting of all is that the "officers and investigators" of the Office of Professional Responsibility are not LEGALLY able to take sworn affidavits.

Texas Code only provides that power to sworn peace officers or those who are bonded as a notary public.

None of these people are qualified to investigate anything that is not financial in nature.

Therefore, every sworn affidavit taken by that office is BOGUS.

Further, I am disturbed by the fact that the anonymous fraud hotline is only used to "build cases" on people that DISD wants to get rid of. They do not seek to find the truth and fix problems.

For example, a teacher friend of mine anonymously reported that her principal violated numerous policies regarding keeping huge sums of cash in the building vault and falsifying records to cover her failure to deposit for OVER three WEEKS (the policy states that no cash can be on campus overnight).

Her principal was not only NOT disciplined but was recently promoted to a new middle school! Unfortunately this administration is more concerned with looking like they are "cleaning up" than actually doing it.

[Ed Note: And oh how we would like to know things like this while they're still going on--and someone has proof of it that we can verify! We'd like to watch some of the "inputs" to the Office of Professional Responsibility and quietly watch the "outputs" to see what happens.

But, folks, you have to let us know about it! Complaining about it later doesn't do the trick!]

DISD Attorney's Comments

Ms. Carrillo's attempts to discredit an employee rather than pursue justice in this matter, is at the very least, a discredit to DISD, a disservice to your offices, and quite possibly, criminal.

Ms. Carrillo, may I remind you that you took an oath that you would not only 'support the constitutions of the United States and Texas,..........but that you would honestly demean yourself in the practice of law'.

Officer Weaver, you took an oath to 'enforce the laws of the City and State government, and to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Texas'. Did you forget this oath, or did it take too much effort to fully investigate this matter?

In either instance, you both failed your offices miserably and should at the very least, resign or by fired. This reeks of misconduct.

The facts of this case clearly show either you are both inept at your jobs, or as I suspect, have been told to railroad this employee out of his job. If this is the case, then you are both guilty of not making this injustice public, and you both should be ashamed and are most certainly cowards.

In addition to every thing else, you two shining examples have put the citizens of Dallas at risk by not prosecuting the young gentleman (and I use that term very loosely). This may very well expose the City of Dallas to another lawsuit.

The message that you send to this kid is reprehensible. That it is perfectly fine to steal. This only serves to empower him, thus making our schools even more dangerous. Brilliant thinking!

Additionally, what kind of message does this send to your teachers and staff?

What we would like to know,..............who is responsible for this fiasco and for the conduct of you two infelicitous city employees?

It is obvious that the two of you couldn't possibly have concocted this debacle alone. The names of each and every individual who abetted the two of you should be brought to light.
The fact that DISD allows that mockery of the justice system is a travesty.

Worst of all............you, for some unknown reason, have smeared the good name of an innocent employee.

I hope you all receive the same kind of perverted justice in a civil court room.

Shame on you.

DISD, not City of Dallas

Sir--

Maybe you mistyped, but all this is in DISD, not City of Dallas...The CITY will not be sued in this matter. The CITY is not involved in this matter. They are not city employees.

I just have one question for Ms. Carrillo?

What kind of car does she drive? You see, I need a new one. If I just happen to "find" hers in the parking lot at 3700 Ross, can I take it, use it for a while, and then sell it?

Would she let me just consider it "found property"? Would she mind if I went through her items and showed them to everyone?

Yea, we thought so.

DISD Holidays & "Real" Cops vs Fake "Wannabes"

Apparently DISD is having Halloween & Thanksgiving, since there's a witch and a turkey.

Seriously, I CANNOT beleive this. His phone is stolen & hocked by a student and he is the one fired over an illegal search and seizure. Nothing has happened to the student????

Ummm...I'd like to point out to DISD that this little old document called the United States Constitution applies to you and with some other little old things....like...the Bill of Rights.

Maybe you jokers should sit through one of your own government classes? Oh yeah, I forgot. You don't teach that anymore.

These guys are police who just now got side arms and don't even have radar guns to enforce school zone speed limits? They sound like another group singing "I wanna be a *real* cop."

How do you plan to catch anyone if you don't even have the most basic surveilance equipment? They "rely on other agencies". Since they're so reliant on other agencies do what they were formed to do, why keep spending the money on them? Surely DPD would be happy to devote a few officers to DISD, if the school distrct were willing to fund their salary.

I've heard the arguments about being devoted to a smaller segement of the population, but I'm still not buying it. If those officers are funded by DISD, they could easily be given duty assignements that keep them on DISD propery.

Furthermore, I think that a "real" policeman would do more to prevent crime and gang activity than some DISD paper-tiger cop.

2 cents,

RecentCoin

DISD Police

Well, without trying to aggravate you Recent, there are a lot of regulations imposed upon a "Specialized Police" force.

Most of which are imposed by that agency's administration in an effort to prevent the backlash that comes from cops being cops. State, County, and Municipal agencies know that there will be lawsuits from the activities of law enforcement officers doing their jobs.

They know this and are prepared for this.

Other agencies, such as hospital, school, college, transit, etc..., know that things such as lawsuits against officers cause bad publicity.

That being said, they place restrictions on their officers to prevent any major catastrophic error by an officer doing what you call "real" police work.

I have seen this first hand for many years with my agency. While it is not a ideal situation for the officers, they still do their jobs the best that they can with the restrictions they have on them.

Much like with other specialized police agencies, DISD suffers from being restricted to activity only on their campus.

Hence the reason they do not have radars to enforce school zones. While one would think that a school district police department should enforce that law, their restricted jurisdiction prevents this from happening.

Also, a lot of those DISD (how did you say it) "Paper-Tiger cops" came from other agencies such as the Dallas Police Department, Dallas Sheriff's Department, and many other major agencies.

So, calling them fake cops is not only a disrespectful slap in their face, but ignorant as well.

One last note (per our earlier disagreement with regard to the DART Police being dissolved into the Dallas Police Department, which does seem to be your argument for most of the other departments that you see no reason for their existence), ask a number of Dallas Police officers if they would enjoy spending the day baby-sitting DISD kids at the school.

You probably wouldn't find too many takers, unless of course it was overtime. While I will never slam the Dallas Police Department, they are not the answer to every problem with agencies that don’t fit your idea of having a purpose.

My 2 Cents

NewGuy out!

[Ed Note: NewGuy is a police officer, frequent poster, and a good friend to Dallas.Org.]

Agree w New Guy

Just to point out one thing....according to the story that was referenced above according to Chief Blackburn the district is in the process of buying radar equipment.

But I have to agree with New Guy....sometimes restrictions are imposed either officially or unofficially on the officers.

Incompetence at DISD Police

I just wonder what these people do all day long. It sure seems like they could take a lesson or two in law enforcement. Do they require these people to go to the police academy?

[Ed Note: Yes, these guys are certified, commissioned peace officers--the same as any other police department. We just keep asking the question: why does DISD have its own police department? We will get into how they're funded in an upcoming article.

This isn't the first time we've raised the red flag on DISD's police department. In a previous article we reported on a DISD police officer who refused to take a report regarding a possible incident of gang violence and what a Dallas Police sergeant had to say about them.

This, of course, begs the question: would DISD have less gang problems if it didn't have a police department that, perhaps, unintentionally protected some of this questionable activity? Let's face it: no police department (in this country) would knowingly condone gang violence. This goes for DISD's as well. But is their lax approach to dealing with it, just making it worse?]

DISD Cops, Civics and the Law

(As per Recent Coin's comments: Yes, actually, they still teach government. [what we called, "Civics."] The students are required to take it---alas, not so, I guess, with the DISD Legal Dept.)

Man, DISD bit the wrong hot dog here. Where do I begin? Those in DISD have known about the Gestapo tactics of the DISD legal department. Many people know others who have been subjected to it from time to time.

1. Allen, please call the DA, Craig Watkins. Since race is not an issue in this matter--all major parties are African American, the issues are simply:

a. Is it a crime to ERASE a video surveillance tape "while an investigation is ongoing"?

b. Did the DISD actually commit the crime of distributing porn when they showed photos from the phone to the principal? (Did she HAVE to see them? Was she supposed to ID people's private parts, a la Porky's?)

c. Can Tyrone file theft charges on the kid himself? PLEASE do, as this sends a terrible message.

d. This is why employees need to belong to a union. Any one of them! .... His union (AFT) is helping him, and that should pay for his lawyer.

e. Will the person who bought the phone from the kid be prosecuted for receiving stolen goods?

f. If his mom lied in the investigation, is she on probation? If so, yank it! (Typical DISD parent, sad to say. Yet, people blame the teachers when the kids do badly...)

The DISD legal department is the biggest corrupt part of the DISD. They use fear and intimidation on a daily basis. They do NOT care about justice. If a DISD employee ever gets entangled with them, man, watch out!

They try to act as if they have legal authority over you, which they do not.

They tell you that you MUST answer their questions, or face termination... a clear violation of one's Constitutional rights.

If you refuse to answer, they never actually put that previous threat on paper, to cover their illegal threats.

They sometimes take you into a room with a one way mirror, just like Law and Order. They WILL videotape you, without your permission.

If they question you at school, they will ambush you. Your principal will call you down to the office, and Lordy Mercy, there are some people in suits asking weird questions. They NEVER explain why, and they never allow you to call your union to help or to get a lawyer. In fact, they will tell you that you CANNOT do either!( Again, not true.)

They will tell you that if you discuss the case you are mysteriously involved in--with anyone--you will be terminated for cause. (So, I can't tell my husband why I am crying?)

As for the DISD Police, the reason why they were created was because the DPD could not respond or staff an entity with 160,000 kids on a daily basis. It caused tension between students, DPD and teachers.

Baylor Hospital has its own police. Other entities have them. The concept is not a bad one, but its utilization can be. Now that they are separate from DPD, the true crime stats are not ever unbiased and scrutinized by the outside, are they?

You want to know more? Ask under Freedom of Information how many lawyers DISD has, by name. Ask about the consulting firms, by name. See how many plan to run for political office--or already ARE in office! The costs, too. How much do the taxpayers pay for all this?

When people complain that it is "hard to get rid of bad teachers," it is because the system is actually stacked against them. The unions have to fight for each one each step of the way to shake out if it is a fair termination or a witch hunt.

That is why so many DISD employees on this site are "anonymous." Imagine if they used their names? Wonder why so many teachers never speak out?

[Ed Note: See... no one with DISD has actually admitted (in any record I've obtained) to personally seeing pornographic pictures from Hughes' cell phone. There's much more to come on this over the next couple of weeks. Just stay tuned and enjoy it unfolding!

Also, don't fear DISD's legal department. When they get to the courtroom, they have to prove their case just like anyone else.

We're going to start tracking how much DISD's legal affairs (things like outside counsel, settlements, etc.) are costing taxpayers starting next year. We may not be able to break things down individually, but we can give you the bottom line on things.

As to the names/positions/salaries--uh, well, you see--it's like this . I've had the new employee salaries since October but haven't really had time to do my homework, Ms. Teacher. Actually the dog ate the CD, but I was able to reconstruct... never mind :) Extra credit if I get it online over Christmas?]

DISD Legal Intimidation

You have no idea how much DISD "investigators" use scare tactics, and how much credence DISD, DPD, and the Dallas County DA give to any allegations made by students.

According to them, if a child says it, it must be true.

Forget other circumstances and histories that surround the accusing child. If you are a teacher, there is very good chance these days that your career will be destroyed by one single student. Everything that you say above is absolutely true!

They ambush you, they do not give you the opportunity to contact the union, and they use "keeping your name out of the media" as a scare tactic to coerce your resignation. These scare tactics deny DISD employees "due process!"

[Ed Note: Yes, unfortunately, "guilt or innocence" sometimes doesn't bear as much weight as the "seriousness of the charge." There have obviously been some employees who have been terribly abused by this approach.

Also keep in mind that DISD's legal department has lawyers like everybody else. They all have an opportunity to take things to a courtroom. There are other lawyers in town who would love the opportunity to take them on--and I think the numbers will grow.

We're going to start tracking how much DISD spends on outside counsel, and other parts of the legal process. When we hear of cases like Sherri Brokaw or Tyrone Hughes, we're going to do our research and make the matter public.

This, of course, isn't a license for an employee to tell his or her boss "where to stick it" or an invitation not to do one's job. When we find an employee to be wrong, we're going to say so. But we'd love to hear from folks who have legitimately been abused.]

At Will Employees

You know the more I read this the more it sounds like the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center there legal team sounds just like this bunch and yes the same o same o at will employees.

Ed I saw you do research on how many DISD people actually file lawsuits and claims with EEOC and you will be surprised that you can not find an attorney no matter how much he wants to charge to pursue a case again at will employees (sovereign immunity)!!!! All over this.

[Ed Note: I'm not quite following all of this. But you may want to research this a little more with an attorney. He or she can tell you what your rights are.]

At Will Employees

I always laugh when I hear politicians and pundits rag on the teacher unions. Maybe they are powerful in Illinois or New York, but down here, the Boss is boss! And in the DISD, you are glorified "help"!

Seriously, the "contract" teachers sign is a very welcome sight in the boxes every year, but they are worthless. They just tie the teacher to the DISD, not the other way around. Somebody send this website a copy.

And that again, is why teachers need the unions. In Texas, they have no real bargaining power, but they are often the ONLY thing in your corner to help you in a fight.

As long as people listen to people who have NEVER taught a day in their lives rag on teachers and public education, this is what you will have. When the average Joe realizes that whether or not he has a kid in the DISD, if he lives in Dallas, he needs to PAY ATTENTION to how these schools are run.

[Ed Note: ...and then there's always Dallas.org :) ]