In a letter signed by the Byron Nelson High School principal, Northwest school district officials on Friday apologized to a 16-year-old junior who was suspended soon after he arrived at school on Tuesday, two days after his father was fatally stabbed, because school staff thought he was under the influence of marijuana.
On Monday, the Labor Day holiday, Kyler Robertson's mother, Christy Fritz, said she notified her son's golf coach about the father's death. She also e-mailed Robertson's teachers and his counselor.
On Tuesday, when Robertson arrived at school just after the first bell officials said he had red, watery eyes, among other symptoms, and smelled of marijuana. He was suspended for three days and assigned to an alternative education program until January.
Late Wednesday, Fritz submitted a urine test result that showed no evidence of drugs, and administrators canceled the alternative education placement. The suspension was lifted the next day.
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But Fritz demanded that the district apologize and strike the discipline from his school records.
In a letter dated Friday, Principal Linda Parker told Fritz that the district will record the classes that Robertson missed on Tuesday and Wednesday as excused absences, not days of suspension.
"Further, the NISD has agreed to remove any and all references to this issue from Kyler's file to be destroyed in accordance with the District's records retention schedule. Finally, the District sincerely apologizes for this situation and is hopeful that we can move forward together in the best interests of Kyler," Parker wrote.
On Friday, the family attended the funeral for Richard Robertson. Paul Leggett, 53, was arrested by the Tarrant County Sheriff's Department and faces a charge of murder, officials have said. Kyler Robertson did not attend school all week, and Fritz said she was not clear whether he will get excused absences for Thursday and Friday, which he spent with family preparing for the funeral.
"Where is the apology to my son for the bad judgment call? The apology for the lack of compassion for his situation? The apology for not coming to his aid instead of his attack?" Fritz said Friday night.
School officials have declined to speak about the case, citing federal student privacy laws.
Jessamy Brown, 817-390-7326