LULAC Defends Expelled Kaufman High Schooler

By Andrea Lucia, CBS 11 News

KAUFMAN (CBSDFW.COM) – Seventeen-year-old Christian Herrera spends his days sitting at a kitchen table sprawled with schoolbooks.

“I want to be something in my life,” he said.

Home school, though, is the only type of education he can get since he was expelled from Kaufman High School.

A Kaufman Independent School District police report said Herrera showed up for class on Sept. 28 with a metal pipe and struck several students.
“I’m sorry, but it was my life,” said Herrera, who admits that he lashed out. He said, though, it was a desperate act of self-defense.

“There was no way to run or yell or ask for help, because we don’t have no protection in school,” he said.

Herrera and his friends said they’ve been bullied, beaten and threatened by other students at Kaufman High School for the past few years.
“They talk about Mexicans in school. They’re racist in school,” said Miguel Guerrero, 18, a friend of Herrera’s.

Just before Herrera was expelled for the assault, Guerrero said he was confronted away from school one night and beaten with a baseball bat. It’s one of the reasons Herrera said he felt threatened enough to carry a pipe for protection. Guerrero doesn’t go to school now either.

“I was scared of those guys who beat me up, so I drop out,” he said.

On the phone, Kaufman ISD superintendent Jim Phillips said there was no problem with racial tension in the schools. He refused to address any specific incidents involving students, saying he was compelled by law to protect their privacy.

Herrera’s recent expulsion has grabbed the attention of some community leaders, like business woman Carolyn Long, who employs Christian’s mother.

“We were all horrified at such a thing happening to Christian, because he’s such a good kid,” she said.

Long arranged for tutors to help Herrera keep up with school work, and she complained to the Hispanic organization, LULAC. This week, LULAC responded with a formal complaint to the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.

“We don’t need this kind of environment, one where kids can’t even go to school,” said LULAC district director Beatrice Martinez. In its letter, LULAC is asking for an investigation into Christian’s case and the school district’s disciplinary action.

LULAC claims the district is discriminating by punishing Hispanic students, but not their bullies.

“We’re talking about two systems – one for them and one for Latinos,” Martinez said.

Herrera, meanwhile, is happy someone is finally listening. He said he is hopeful he can clear his name for that bright future he’s planning.

  • Txlucky1

    In this day of heated immigration, things are going to get much worse before they get better.

  • LegalRoberto

    CBS News.. all the ‘fair’ without the balance. Is there perhaps another side to the story? It’s hard to know what happened here without the whole story.

    Is anyone filing assault charges? That would be interesting to know.

    A superintendent’s jurisdiction only covers what happens at school.
    Law enforcement deals with what happens off school property.
    Where’s law enforcement in all of this?

    Come on Andrea… Let’s hear the rest of the story. If this boy is dumb enough to bring a weapon to school.. and actually use it. He at least belongs away from the other students.

    • shadowwolves

      I agree. Why didn’t they complain to the principle or tell their parents..

  • harperwc

    leave it to lulac to defend the kid for taking matters into his own hands. what happened to filing a complaint for discrimination or bullying to the proper authorities ? lulac seems to get more than their share of violence. where was lulac before this made it into the news ? if they want to help hispanics in need, they should help them before the victims resort to violence.

  • photobugcbp

    Two wrongs don’t make a right. This should have been handled by law enforcement “if” there was an altercation away from the school, not brought back to school for revenge. Lulac’s mentality is that everyone thing that happens to a hispanic is a hate crime. Hummmmmmm, seems like we heard this story before…ie..Jesse Jackson.
    Birds of a feather….

  • Elmer

    I suppose LULAC will carry pipes into the court room to help with the defense.

  • CeilingFan

    “…we don’t have no protection in school”
    First he beats up on the other students with a pipe and then he beats up on his English teachers with his grammar.

    • brooke

      you don’t have to be rude!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! just loose the attitude because you don’t know anyhting

  • Tom

    This case should have been referred to the local police. This young man should have been prosecuted and left it to a court to convict him or clear his name. This should not have been the business of school officials, nor is it the business of LULAC.

  • BornTexan

    Where was the racial descrimination group to defend the American teachers who were targeted to be fired by DISD and replaced with teachers recruited from south of the border? This boy committed a crime. By defending him, LULAC is sending a strong message that the laws of this country do NOT apply to this one race. Something we see every day in DFW!

  • Lee Birdwell

    CBS…The Superintendent’s name is not Jim Phillips. Mr. Phillips passed away many years ago. Why are you running a story and can’t get the facts correct. This kid has been indited on 3 counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon by the judicial system. Give me a break….

blog comments powered by Disqus
The Taz Show

Listen Live