Parents say teen expelled from Spring HS for being gang member

LaDaydrick Heard
September 18, 2013 2:51:53 PM PDT
Spring High School is cracking down on gangs, especially after a student was stabbed to death on campus. At least two parents claim their child has been wrongfully expelled from the school, accused of being a gang member. They were supposed to meet with school leaders on Wednesday, but that didn't happen.

The expulsion hearing was cancelled after a couple of parents showed up to campus with a community activist. Those parents claim the district unfairly punished their kids by labeling them gang members.

As students arrived to Spring High School Wednesday morning, it seemed like a considerably normal day. That wasn't the case for sophomore Ladaydrick Heard and his family. They showed up to get answers from the district about the teen's sudden expulsion from school.

His mother said, "They notified me on Friday, and just called and said that my son would be expelled from school, and I asked why."

The 16-year-old's mom and dad say the district kicked their son out of school last week, alleging Heard was a gang member.

His father, Esko Shepherd, said, "They said that they had proof that he was in a gang because of social media and pictures and stuff, but they didn't show us any of that."

Spring ISD police announced a gang task force officer would be assigned to this campus after the violent September 4 stabbing incident that left 17-year-old student Joshua Broussard dead and three other students injured during what deputies called a gang-related fight.

I'm not involved in any gang," Heard said. "I wasn't in a gang yesterday. I'm not in a gang today, and I won't be in a gang tomorrow."

Heard and his parents say he's being wrongly labeled by the district. Community activist Quanell X claims parents of other recently expelled students are also reaching out to him, saying their kids have been wrongfully accused.

Quanell X said, "We want to know, what's the standard you are using to label these kids as gang members who have never been in trouble?"

A spokeswoman from Spring ISD says laws prevent the district from discussing disciplinary action against students. But in a statement, Karen Garrison tells Eyewitness News: "To date, approximately 26 students violated the Student Code of Conduct at Spring High School and were placed in a disciplinary alternative education program. Not all of those are related to the incident on Sept. 4 or affiliated with gangs. "

The district says every parent and student has a right to due process. Heard's parents say the expulsion hearing has been rescheduled for Friday when the school district's attorneys can attend.

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