Family upset with Bullard ISD, police

CHEROKEE COUNTY (KYTX) -- A Bullard family has a big mess to clean up after a mom and her teenage son both ended up in jail the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. The family says neither of them should have been arrested.

Hundreds of kids were in one room at Bullard high school taking a test that day. Most of them didn't mind, but Charles Parkes' son did.

"He's very intelligent," Parkes said. "Very left-brained and logical. But he is socially awkward."

He's been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. Parkes' son got upset by the crowd and caused a disruption--something the parents say the district knew would happen.

According to the parents, those with the district asked the student to leave but he refused. So they called Bullard Police.

Video of the arrest shot by the boys parents when they got to the school depicted an altercation between them and Bullard Police Sergeant Jeff Bragg. Bragg told CBS 19 there are cases where a medical condition makes a difference.

He said this wasn't one of them.

"We didn't feel like he fit the criteria to be evaluated," Bragg said. "Even if we had him evaluated he still would ultimately have been charged with the resisting arrest charge."

Bullard ISD Superintendent Keith Bryant released a statement saying:

"Bullard ISD strives to meet the needs of all of our students, includes students who have Individual Education Plans (IEPs). The district follows the goals and requirements of those IEPs, and we will continue to comply with the law in that regard. Furthermore, the first priority of our district is to provide a safe learning environment for our students. When a situation arises that may compromise student safety, we take whatever steps are necessary to maintain that safe learning environment, including contacting law enforcement."

In a meeting the day of the arrests Parkes and his wife said Bryant was unsympathetic and unapologetic. After Bryant touched Parkes' wife on the shoulder, she made her third 911 call of the day to file an assault charge.
"She called it a third time without having a legitimate emergency," Bragg said. "So she was mis-using and abusing 911."

Bullard P.D. arrested her.

Parkes said the police department only made a bad situation worse. He blames the district for starting it.

"I don't necessarily fully blame the school," Parkes said. "But when the parents are willing to take the lumps, willing to go along with everything the school district has and give them a blank check and do to their child as long as they follow the rules and respect them that's where the school district is in the wrong."

Several days later Parkes was able to bail both his wife and his son out of jail. They're doing just fine, but Parkes' son does have some bruises and other marks after being in jail. The family is trying to figure out how that happened.

Parkes' son is on a medical leave from school right now.

The family said special ed workers have been very helpful trying to find him an alternative since the family no longer feels comfortable letting him attend Bullard High School.

Parkes' wife and his son are both still facing the charges that were brought against them. They'll have to go to court in Cherokee County to fight them.


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