|San Jacinto News Times - Local News
Copyright 2013 - Polk County Publishing Company
Seven athletes charged with theft of property from Coldspring Intermediate
COLDSPRING – Seven Coldspring-Oakhurst High School football players have been charged with taking property from Coldspring-Oakhurst Consolidated Independent School District, a Class A misdemeanor. When asked several questions about the incident and those involved, COCISD Superintendent Jerry Gibson declined to answer, issuing a press release instead. The press release stated that teachers at Coldsprng Intermediate School discovered the apparent theft of electronics, including iPads, iPods and other technical equipment as they were preparing for the return of students this year. Gibson declined to give a value of the equipment stolen and recovered or give the ages of the students; however, according to county records, three are adults and four are minors. Gibson said an investigation was launched by Coldspring- Oakhurst CISD Chief of Police Roosevelt Joseph into the incident and the missing equipment was recovered. At the conclusion of the investigation, it was stated the seven students had been employed by the district as summer workers and were charged with theft of property. Immediate disciplinary action was taken in accordance with the COCISD Student Code of Conduct and, because the students were also in athletics, in accordance with the COCISD Athletic Handbook, according to the press release. Gibson commended Chief Joseph, Coldspring-Oakhurst Principal Todd White and Athletic Director Bryan Barbay for their swift, decisive action in dealing with this unfortunate situation. "The disciplinary action has been carried out and the matter concluded," said Gibson. "We are excited to move on and look forward to a great 2013- 14 school year." When asked about the disciplinary action carried out against the football players, Gibson said, "Any student who is involved in inappropriate behavior, whether it be in the school or, in some cases, outside of school, will receive disciplinary action according to the COCISD Student Code of Conduct. In addition, if the student is in athletics, they are also disciplined according to the Athletic Handbook." According to the COCISD Student Code of Conduct, "Discipline shall be designed to improve conduct and to encourage students to adhere to their responsibilities as members of the school community. Disciplinary action shall draw on the professional judgment of teachers and administrators and on a range of discipline management techniques. Discipline shall be correlated to the seriousness of the offense, the student's age and grade level, the frequency of misbehavior, the student's attitude, the effect of the misconduct on the school environment, and statutory requirements. "Because of these factors, discipline for a particular offense ….may bring into consideration varying techniques and responses," Gibson said. Continuing, Gibson said, "In addition to the above considerations, disciplinary actions relating to an offense resulting in an arrest are dependent upon the nature of the crime and the level of the charge against the student, as listed on pages 14 – 16 of the COCISD Student Code of Conduct. "The COCISD Athletic Handbook states, 'Violations of the rules will result in corrective and/or disciplinary action. The facts and circumstances will be taken into consideration when determining what actions will be taken.' "In the case of an athlete's arrest, page 17 of the Athletic Handbook relates the consequence as follows: "1st Offense – 2 week suspension from the sport or 50 tires. The tires must be complete before the athlete will be eligible to participate in the next contest. 2nd Offense – Expulsion from that sport for the remainder of the season. "When a student, whether an athlete or otherwise, has completed the terms of their disciplinary action, they are free to return to all extra-curricular activities," said Gibson. "The purpose of discipline is to correct and restore a student to the education process."