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News, opinion and topics of interest to parents, students, and taxpayers within the Lewisville Independent School District
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McCain Wins it by a hair at Parkway Elementary

Lewisville ISD Notes
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/10/22 3:10:00 (1449 reads)

John McCain and Sarah Palin narrowly defeated Barack Obama and Joe Biden in yesterday's mock election and my kids' elementary school, Parkway Elementary, here in Lewisville.

Here are the numbers:
McCain / Palin 184 - 50.69%
Obama / Biden 177 - 48.76%
Barr / Whatsisface 2 - 0.55%

If one assumes that these kids are voting the way their parents are voting, and that their parents are representative of the community within the school boundaries, then it's a statistical tossup.

Just for comparison, here's my precinct's numbers in the 2004 presidential election - the parents:

BUSH/CHENEY (REP) 683 - 67.96%
KERRY/EDWARDS (DEM) 313 - 31.14%
Libertarian/write-in 8 - .9%

So, if you take this change at face value - that Obama has 17 points more than Kerry had, that represents a major shift. Of course, there are some problems with the methodology here, so this analysis is just an intellectual curiosity.

First, kids may in fact vote differently from their parents. My oldest son reported that being a Republican (ARGH!), he felt duty-bound to vote for John McCain. I ate lunch with him at school yesterday and he had asked me about Bob Barr and who that was - presumably he wasn't that crazy about his choices? So, always trying to spare my kids from partisan rhetoric at their ages, I told him about Bob Barr - "He's a crazy idiot who wants to ban public schools.". ;)

Second, parents of elementary-aged children are a demographic that tend to be in their twenties and thirties. This leaves out the universe of both younger college-age voters, and older and middle-aged voters. I tend to think it favors Obama.

I wish that we had some historical data on voting at this elementary school to compare.

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Talk with Fred Placke about LISD Gas Lease, Renewables

Lewisville ISD Notes
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/5/8 21:00:00 (4470 reads)

WhosPlayin recently received an anonymous comment (excerpts shown in yellow below) on one of our blog postings which raised some questions and some allegations regarding Lewisville Independent School District's leasing of its land for oil and gas drilling.

Though I've removed the comment for libel reasons, it made an accusation that Board President Fred Placke had negotiated gas leases for far below market rates.

I contacted LISD, and received a call from Mr. Placke today. I asked if he could provide some comments, and he was more than glad for the chance to set the record straight, saying that the comments had made his blood boil.

"Fred [Placke] said the Mayor of Flower Mound, Jody Smith, had approached him sometime back encouraging him to lease the LISD land. Fred was positively GLOWING about this "found money" for the district! He waxed eloquent about how he had leased all of LISD's land for gas drilling to the tune of about $1,000-$1,100 per acre and 25% royalty."

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LISD Bond

Lewisville ISD Notes
Posted by grbtexan on 2008/4/16 20:30:00 (1739 reads)

We can and should do better than this!!

(Here is a quick Pdf view of the propsal, see for yourself)
http://www.lisd.net/bond/bondprops.pdf


Looking at the bond proposal that we will be voting on this May 10th one word comes to mind, obscene. I expect that we’ll will get gouged on the cost of building schools. And when you look at the numbers on any bond for building city facilities one can assume that the budget will be five to fifteen million over what it would cost. Keep in mind that often we will be charged more when construction time comes. As I look at the propose square footage on expansions and new construction the costs are millions above what commercial construction averages are anywhere in the state. Here is one example, $20 million to build an indoor pool. A special events center, $79 million. I believe we should and can provide the best facilities to the children of this school district. We all want that! And I fully expect that we will over pay for those facilities. But these proposals are just out of line. The school board needs to be more diligent in how these dollars are spent.

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Lewisville ISD Drug Testing for All Students

Lewisville ISD Notes
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/4/14 6:00:00 (3078 reads)

Tell me what you think about this:

Lewisville ISD Begins Random Drug Testing this Week

Basically, any kid that participates in ANY extracurricular activity, or parks their car in the school parking lot is subject to mandatory testing. If the test indicates positive for banned substances, including some prescription drugs, the student is immediately suspended, and burden of proof to dispute then shifts to the student and their family.

The district claims that a Supreme Court decision gave authority to schools to extend drug testing to all extracurricular activities.

Seems to me that maybe this policy - whether it's legal or not - is a little heavy-handed. Though it may keep some kids clean who might have otherwise experimented with drugs, it seems to me that it may be the wrong direction for other kids who don't have much going for them.

It's as if we're saying "Don't use drugs. Drugs will ruin your life. We will ruin your life."

I'll admit that it seems like a tough problem to deal with, but this policy bothers me as a matter of principle. I want to hear what other parents in the district have to say about it.

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Update #3: Lewisville Police Charge Teen With "Huffing" Hand Sanitizer

Lewisville ISD Notes
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2008/1/25 8:00:00 (13725 reads)

Well, this is interesting. Seems that a 14 year old at Killian Middle School was brought up on charges by Lewisville Police for squirting his teacher's hand sanitizer into... his hands... and .... wait for it.... sniffing it.

In the view of school officials, the boy "inhaled heavily," according to Mr. Ortiz, who said his son sniffed the cleanser "because it smelled good."


Yes folks, this young boy took a whiff of the alcohol. In typical fashion, somebody over-reacted and got the police involved. Somewhere along the line, nobody had the presence of mind to step back and say that maybe this was just a kid fooling around.

Nope, the Lewisville Police wrongly applied a good law meant to protect children from inhaling paint and other substances to get high, and charged the youth with delinquency. The child had to serve an in-school suspension, and was fingerprinted and photographed.

The Dallas Morning News ran this quote from Lewisville Assistant Police Chief Joni Eddy:
Joni Eddy, assistant police chief in Lewisville, said Friday that hand sanitizer has become a popular inhalant. "That is the latest thing to huff," she said.

She said officers felt they were acting properly when they pursued the case against Mr. Ortiz's son under a complex state statute governing volatile chemicals that could be abused.

"The charge said he was using the product other than its intended use," she said. "Huffing hand sanitizer is certainly using it for something other than its intended use."


This was not backed up by the National Institute on Drug Abuse:

Shirley Simson, a spokeswoman for the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Washington, said in an e-mail that the agency had no data about hand sanitizers being abused as inhalants. She noted, however, that there have been news reports of some people drinking hand sanitizers for their alcohol content.


Neither alcohol nor hand sanitizer were listed on the list on Inhalant.org. Neither were listed on the U.S. Department of Justice Website.

Inhaling ethyl alcohol (drinking alcohol) on purpose, would be in my opinion a stupid and possibly intoxicating thing. I think I've actually heard about college kids abusing drinking alcohol by vaporizing it. I've never seen it.

The good news is that the charges were dropped by the DA's office here in Denton County. The bad news is that we seem to have some pretty screwed up priorities in our school system and with our police department. Not to say that either of them are doing a bad job, but this particular case doesn't cast them in a good light. They were willing to ruin this young man's future over something simple and probably thoughtless. It shows an extreme and callous lack of discretion.

Now, am I saying that school and police officials shouldn't take notice and say something about alcohol, drugs, and inhalants? No, I'm not saying that. I've witnessed people ruin their lives with these things. But I've also witnessed lives ruined by having a criminal record over some stupid things. The "zero-tolerance" culture that has come into play in the last 20 years is the direct result of people being afraid to use discretion. Afraid to be judged as unfair for giving someone an occasional second chance, while denying it to someone less deserving, they tie their own hands.

I don't know exactly what went on in that classroom. I don't know what role the school played and what role the officers played, or to what extent they felt their hands were tied. I don't leave out the possibility that I've missed some facts here. It's 12:45 am as I write this, and I can't exactly call people at this hour. So, I don't want to give the impression that I necessarily blame LPD or LISD. Rather, I think this is indicative of a larger problem with our society.

I certainly hope that the teachers and staff at this young man's school have taken the opportunity to use this incident as an opportunity to explain to these children just how dangerous it can be to purposefully huff chemicals to get high.

Kids, I know it's hard to understand why the "safe" methods for getting high are legal only to adults, and you're stuck with brain-cell-killing paint. I don't really have an answer for you, but I'll see if I can't get some smarter folks than me to comment.

Update: I've contacted Asst. Chief Joni Eddy for comment and clarification, but have yet to hear back.

Update 2: 1/30/08 - A press release from the teen's attorney, J. Michael Price II was posted and is very interesting:
Joni Eddy, assistant police chief in Lewisville, said Friday during a television interview with WFAA-TV, Channel 8 in Dallas, that this is "exactly the same as if the kid was in front of the class drinking alcohol or exactly the same as if the kid was in front of the class smoking a joint." Price notes that both of these acts are specifically against the law in Texas, whereas using or sniffing a hand-sanitizer is not. There are no known cases of anyone becoming intoxicated from the inhaling of alcohol fumes from a hand sanitizer. The only effects from doing this in large quantities are irritated eyes and/or a headache.

...

"The troubling aspect of this case is that this matter was reviewed by a supervisor at the Lewisville Police Department, and later reviewed by the Denton County District Attorney's office. It was then assigned for prosecution, a 'Petition of Delinquent Conduct" suit was drafted and personally served against the juvenile and his father on January 22, 2008". Price further stated, "It was only after the threat of this matter becoming public that it was ultimately dismissed. I contacted Ms. Jamie Beck of the Denton County District Attorney's Office and told her I didn't think a law had been violated," Mr. Price said. "She made the appropriate decision without a lot of delay."


Chief Eddy has yet to respond to WhosPlayin's inquiry into what seems like a career-limiting move.

One has to wonder how often other teens in Lewisville and throughout Denton County have been railroaded with frivolous charges like this.

Parents in Denton County, you may want to put Mr. Price's phone number in your speed dial: 877-651-1121

Update #3: I talked to an LISD elementary school principal this week who was not aware of the incident at Killian. She told me the school district had a policy in place that students were not to be allowed unsupervised access to hand sanitizer. Apparently, she says, there have been some students caught licking the substance from their hands (in elementary school). She wasn't aware of any "huffing" attempts with it, and didn't know if this was something the children did to try to get high. I suppose it could be like eating paste...

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