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Texas teacher says misdemeanor charge unfounded

Grades are an important tool for determining scholarship eligibility, and students and parents alike can be understandably upset when grades do not stack up. One Texas teacher says that a student's family went far beyond disappointed and actually took action to have the grade unfairly changed. She claims the family's actions ultimately led to a misdemeanor charge being filed against her.

The 29-year veteran French teacher gave one of her students an average of 90 percent for the grading period in question, a grade that apparently kept the student from being listed as one of the top in the class. With an eye on a $40,000 scholarship that is only available to those who graduate among the top of their class, the student's parents met with the teacher and apparently insisted that she had been unfair. They also requested that the student's grade be increased from 90 to 100 percent.

When the teacher failed to yield to this request, the parents complained to the school principal, who is student's uncle. The principal and teacher met with one another, and he allegedly threatened the teacher if she refused to comply with the grade-change request. The teacher still refused, but the student's grade was still changed so that she was listed as one of the top students in her class. According to the teacher, the principal's secretary forged her signature in order to make the change.

Afterward, the teacher complained to the human resource department for the school district. A local officer launched an investigation into the claims and questioned the teacher several times, during which she repeatedly denied signing the form that approved the grade change. In the end, she was arrested and charged with filing a false report. She also did not receive an arraignment despite being booked and released from jail, leaving her initially confused as to why she was even arrested.

The teacher insists that her misdemeanor charge for filing a false report is the result of inappropriate action taken by the principal and the district in an effort to cover up unprofessional behavior. It can be extremely frustrating for Texas defendants when law enforcement does not appear to take their concerns and complaints seriously to such a point that criminal charges are then filed. Typically, responding to these accusations in a timely manner can create an opportunity in which to develop the best defense strategy possible.

Source: courthousenews.com, "Texas Teacher Calls Arrest Bogus Bullying", Cameron Langford, March 31, 2016

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