Mar 15, 2007

Upholding the Law In The Protection Of Our Children

The Paper of South Texas has noted the importance of upholding the law in the protection of all our children. Since first alerted to improprieties at the Texas Youth Commission our office has made considerable effort to personally investigate the problems within the agency. The Texas Observer in one of it's noted pieces documented our work with the employees of the Evins TYC unit to investigate the circumstances there. We noted and reported needed improvements to authorities within the agency. The Monitor newspaper and other media outlets reported our concerns and visits in the Valley and in Austin with these authorities. Later I participated as a guest panelist on the Texas Senate Criminal Justice committee investigative hearing in McAllen. During the 80th Legislative Session I sponsored legislation to address improprieties directed at juveniles statewide and at our state juvenile centers. As a member of the Joint Select Committee on Operation & Management of Texas Youth Commission I have made every effort to continue to investigate concerns in the care of juveniles at our centers across the state, including the one in the Rio Grande Valley.

In it's recent editorial and editorial cartoon the Paper of South Texas suggests that equal effort should be brought to the attention of all cases of alleged sexual abuse including those within local school districts. I have to agree that all cases of sexual abuse, most especially that directed towards children, must receive serious attention from the appropriate authorities. In the specific case highlighted by the periodical our office met with the father of the child on two occasions to date and immediately sought to assist him with his concerns. The Joint Select Committee on the Operation & Management of Texas Youth Commission was not given the charge by Governor Perry or the legislative leadership to investigate occurrences that might have occurred at local school districts by non-detainees of the TYC however there are government authorities who do have this responsibility. We will continue to work with this or any other citizen from our community who seeks redress or assistance from their government. I would hope that this post would clear up the misleading information presented by some and would aid in clarifying my position on the issues raised.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rep, this sounds like a problem for the school board or the local D.A. down there in your county. The Paper should be asking why they are not following through. It is a joke that the joint select committee would somehow be responsible for doing the job of your local authorities. I'm sorry but this so called Paper should be better informed.

Anonymous said...

This is clearly a situation for the police and the district attorney. What the hell are they after. The Valley sure has weird politics. The better question is who the hell is pulling the strings of The Paper. I can only guess it is the school board elections and this rag has a dog in the fight.

Anonymous said...

Allegations of sexual improprieties between a teacher always needs to be investigated. Rep. Pena it would be terrible if politics kept the DA from prosecuting but this is Hidalgo County. Thanks for the effort in bringing this issue to light, keep up the pressure on the TYC. Those rats need to go!

Anonymous said...

The problems at the TYC are pretty bad. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Why is this a state issue? Isn't there anybody down there minding their jobs at the school dist? According to the Paper's logic maybe we should ask President Bush or the Pope why they aren't investigating events in Valley schools!

Anonymous said...

Who the hell are these guys. Keep up the good work. Tell these idiots to pick up the phone and call their district attorney.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute,guys. The Paper of South Texas has reported that many officials in Hidalgo County have been notified of the female teacher sex case, including the DA who is related to one of the men at the school district who should have reported the teacher's confession to CPS. The newspaper has reported that the father of the victim has gone to Edinburg police, the FBI, school board members, the attorney general's office and others with no luck. Why shouldn't a citizen call on his state rep for help in getting admitted child abusers away from children if local offials won't?

Anonymous said...

It is one thing to ask the state rep. for help, it a very different thing to critize him for not doing what he is already doing. The rep. was already taking action on this case, yet The Paper of South Texas critizes him for not taking any action. Tell the so called cartoon artist to act a bit more professional before he makes our entire journalistic profession the ridiclule of our state for his failure to do his homework.

Anonymous said...

Cartoonists (?) are going to give journalism a bad name? Please. Journalism does a good job all by itself.