Paris Custody Controversy

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PARIS - Controversy is growing over the sentencing of a 14-year-old girl for an incident a year ago at Paris High School. Protests started Monday, and rumors of more protests have kept the city on edge, and county officials looking for a way to control the situation.

Some say the girl was sentenced to an undetermined amount of time at a Texas Youth Commission facility.

Friday, residents and DPS Troopers gathered across the street from the high school in anticipation of a protest from the New Black Panthers, and the threat of a student walk-out, but only a few students left school, and there were no protests.
"When peple actually take the time to listen to all the facts in the case as best can be presented from an objective angle its almost like a lioght bulb goes on in their mind," a spokesman for the Lamar County District Attorney said.

The DA's office said encarceration at the facility was the only punishment option for the girl.

"This juveniles mother testified to the judge that they continue would not cooperate with probabtion or with any conditions."

Officials at the DA's office said Lamar County Judge Chuck Superville felt that in order for the girl to improve her actions, she had to become a ward of the state, and she was handed over to the Texas Youth Commission. She has been there 11 months. Officials say she will only be able to leave if she shows improvement.

The girl's mother was unavailable for comment on the story.