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.