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Houston Breakthrough 1979-06
Page 19
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Houston Breakthrough 1979-06 - Page 19. June 1979. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. October 30, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/912/show/906.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(June 1979). Houston Breakthrough 1979-06 - Page 19. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/912/show/906

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough 1979-06 - Page 19, June 1979, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed October 30, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/912/show/906.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough 1979-06
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date June 1979
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 24 page periodical
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 19
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name femin_201109_551r.jpg
Transcript non-verbal," said Couture. "He was crying to himself as if in pain. I examined him, and discovered that his buttocks were red and swollen. There were also red marks on the back of his legs down to the knees, on his right arm, and face. After a lengthy question and answer period, I knew something had happened at school involving a man and a bus. "I learned what happened through witnesses," continued Couture. "I called Williamson that night but was unable to reach him until the next morning. He did not deny spanking Ramon. He said the reason for Ramon's misbehavior was the lack of a strong male influence. "That same morning I reported the incident to Cecil Willis, superintendent of the New Caney Independent School District (NCISD). Willis appointed Cecil Wilburn to investigate my complaint. Wil- burn called me a few days later and told me I had overreacted. "For four days after the incident, Ramon did not eat or sleep. Any progress he had made since January was virtually wiped out. I took Ramon to his physician when he continued having insomnia. The doctor prescribed phenobarbital and told me to remain very close to him. "I know Ramon's only hope for a normal life is through education. Incidents of this kind only set him back. If there was ever a chance of this happening again, I would have to remove him from school. To avoid this, I continue my fight," Couture said. Getting no relief from the investigation, Couture wrote a letter to Willis demanding parents of special education students have the right to deny corporal punishment. She requested that Williamson have no further contact with Ramon, and that Williamson be dismissed as principal. According to Couture, there is a previous lawsuit pending against Williamson for allegedly breaking a child's arm. "This is why I added the third demand, though the first two were the most important," she said. The New Caney ISD School Board met on April 24 to hear Couture's charges and voted to deny all her demands. "The school and administrative officials portrayed me as a hysterical female out to 'get' the school and district. My only goal was to protect the rights of my child and other children like him," said Couture. Couture's case was heard before the Texas Education Authority (TEA) May 24, 1979. Richard Sedgeley, attorney for the school district, claimed that no excessive force had been used on the child. "The child is receiving every special education benefit the law allows," he said. "He is receiving the best education possible, and has been in a very strict environment." Sedgeley seemed more interested in Couture's lifestyle than in the damage done to Ramon. She was asked "Do you and Ramon live alone?" "Who cares for Ramon while you work?" and "What time do you get home?" The only question asked by Sedgeley that pertained to the beating was "Has Ramon sustained any permanent physical or mental injury from the paddling?" The only witness called, other than Couture, was Ramon's teacher, Jean Stockton. Stockton serves on a committee investigating policy changes in the corporal punishment guidelines regarding special education students. "Our preliminary recommendations are that no child be paddled without parental permission, no child under six be paddled, and corporal punishment be used only as a last resort," she said. "I have been a special education teacher for 11 years, and have never used corporal punishment," she added. "It is the recommendation of this court," stated presiding judge Michael H. Driscoll, "that the corporal punishment policy be changed in reference to special education students. I will hold this court open until September, 1979. If at that time Special ed teacher JEAN STOCKTON (1) works with four year old RAMON (r) while his mother BARBARA COUTURE observes his progress. no change has been implemented\ this court will reconvene. "It is also the opinion of this court that Williamson did not violate any existing policy. Therefore, I recommend that the issue concerning his dismissal be dropped," he said. "I am happy with the decision," said Couture. "My major concern was the existing policy. It is unfortunate that children outside of the special education program will not have the same protection. "I suggest that parents in New Caney request speech therapy for their children. This will put them in the special education program, and will protect them from physical violence." Melanie Mayeaux was a journalism student at College of the Mainland and will attend Texas Tech in the fall. Do LJ & daughter a feminist store 1623 Westheimer Houston, TX 77006 (713) 529-3609 10AM-5:30PM Monday-Saturday Open Thursday till 8 Feast Store Open 9 AM - 8 PM Serving Until 7 PM For Faster Service Phone Orders Ahead 3827 Dunlavy Houston, Texas 528-8905 $ HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH 19 JUNE 1979