|www.corpun.com : Archive : 1997 : US Schools Mar 1997|
The Houston Chronicle, Texas, 17 March 1997
School official spared abuse charge
By Ron Nissimov
A Harris County grand jury Monday declined to indict former professional football player Alvin "Boom Boom" Jackson for allegedly abusing a 13-year-old boy at a private school where Jackson is a superintendent.
Jackson, 42, has acknowledged paddling the youth Nov. 12 at the Classical School for Brilliant Students at 4242 Richmond, which touts itself as a last resort for students with academic and behavior problems.
The boy's parents, who declined to be named, had produced pictures showing large and dark bruises on their son's derriere. When Jackson, a former New York Jets defensive player, was shown the pictures, he said he didn't inflict such punishment.
"My God! If I did that, put me in jail! No way!" Jackson said last month.
He was out of town Monday, school officials said.
School administrator Deborah Jackson, husband of Alvin, said the school does not intend to change its corporal punishment policy.
The parents of the boy, who no longer attends the school, were angry with the no-bill and said they may file a lawsuit soon.
"Somebody bruised my son, and it wasn't done in my house," the mother said.
Jackson has said he paddled the boy for fighting with his son and for not working in class. Even if he inflicted the bruises, it would not necessarily be considered child abuse. Texas law permits corporal punishment.
The parents said law enforcement officials handled the investigation poorly, and they do not understand why Harris County District Attorney John B. Holmes Jr. had told them they would be allowed to testify but they were not called.
They said Assistant District Attorney Denise Oncken, head of the child abuse section who presented the evidence, told them the panel didn't want to hear from witnesses.
Oncken would not comment except to say, "We presented a fair and complete rendition of the events."
Copyright 1997 Houston Chronicle
Follow-up: 16 April 1997: Parents of teen file suit against private school
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