Nacogdoches mom thinks school didn't handle child issue properly

BEAUMONT, TX (News Release) - By Donna McCollum - email

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - She's not pregnant. That's what a mother told Nacogdoches school officials following a phone call from a district social worker to her 14-year-old daughter.

Trecie Smith's daughter was home ill from McMichael Middle School when the phone rang as the single mom was checking the mail.

"When I came into the house my daughter was hysterical," Smith said. "She was crying and telling me something about pregnancy."

After calming her daughter, Smith learned why she was so upset.

"She said, 'Mama,' she said, 'they really think I'm pregnant,'" Smith said.

Smith immediately called the social worker to confirm the story.

"And she herself told me a teacher had turned it in that my daughter was pregnant," she said.

The very same day Smith took her daughter to a hospital emergency room.

"I went and got proof, a pregnancy test that's negative," she said.

Smith was so mad such a sensitive issue was discussed with her daughter and not with the parent that she un-enrolled her daughter. Turns out state law allows school social workers to counsel a child without parental consent if they have reasonable grounds to believe that a child has been sexually, physically, or emotionally abused.

Smith says call Child Protective Services, but don't upset a child who could overreact.

"What happens when they call these children, they panic and you walk into a bedroom and find your child deceased from suicide," Smith said.

NISD officials say student safety and well-being is the priority.

Smith has her daughter back at school, but had to watch the 14-year-old sob over her return to school.

"Because she was scared to go back to the same teacher, not knowing which one thinks she's pregnant," she said.

The girl's mother is pleased the school agreed to provide new classes and teachers for her daughter. Smith still plans to appear before the school board about the possible dangers of approaching a child with such sensitive accusations.

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