HOUSTON - A Cy-Fair ISD mother tells FOX 26 she's trying to fight off the school district.
The mother, Synettra Eppenger Johnson, says her 12-year-old son, Nikylin Johnson, is being punished for an act he did not do. She says he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
On October 6, Niklyn was in the restroom when another boy told him he was going to start a fire. At the time of the incident, the district was claiming he was a part of it.
Synettra is now concerned about the lasting effect on her son after he was put into handcuffs for charges that were never accepted by the Harris County DA’s office.
"Now I feel as though I can't trust them and I don’t want my kids being anywhere, where I can't trust them," said Synettra. "And clearly, he has a trust issue now being that they hand him handcuffed. The DA’s office did deny charges, but the school district is still pushing for him to attend an alternative learning center."
Nikylin was initially suspended for three days and pending the DA’s office decision, would be forced to attend alternative schooling. However, with the denial from the DA’s office to accept charges, the district is continuing to move forward with punishment. A move the parents will not accept.
"That would be me sending him there, admitting that he did something," said Synettra. "They told me, they know he had no part in the fire, so why would I allow him to accept some type of accountability for something he did not do."
The mother is concerned that her child has been unfairly deemed a problem student by the district and is worried about what alternative schooling could do to his mental health.
Their attorney, Gary Polland, tells FOX 26, the district is now claiming that 12-year-old Nikylin must attend the school because he did not report it to a teacher.
"He didn’t tell because he was afraid," said Synettra. "What if he had to deal with retaliation for telling who’s going to protect him?"
"When you have someone like this young man, an honor student who doesn’t have any prior disciplinary issue, like what are you doing?" said Polland.
FOX 26 did reach out to the school district Friday but did not receive a response.