Larry P. McDougal
Larry P. McDougal - Attorney at Law
Richmond, Texas
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My child was interrogated by the school principal.

A school principal is undisputed an agent of the State of Texas.  Yet the rules that apply to police officers interrogating do not apply to school administrators.  Even if the police officer detains your child and brings them to the principal.  As long as the police officer leaves the room prior to the interrogation by the school principal the rights granted to any person when interrogated by the police do not apply.  In The Matter of VP.   This includes the right to an attorney or the right to remain silent.  So even though the principal is an agent of the State, they are not law enforcement and the questioning by a school principal is not a custodial interrogation as it would have been had a police officer conducted the questioning of your child. 

So now school administrators and police officers are trained to have the principals take all statements or confessions from the child to avoid the constitutional protections afforded all persons when questioned by law enforcement.  They will question your child, without notice to you and anything your child says can be used against them in court.  It is a sad day when our schools and law enforcement work together with the intent of denying our children their rights provided to them by both the US and Texas Constitutions along with the Texas Family Code. 

No one wants to teach their children to lie.  Yet parents are forced with the reality of teaching their children not to cooperate with school administrators and law enforcement.  Your children once they reach the age of 10 in Texas must know to never admit to anything that they may have done.  They must learn to stand up to authority by demanding that their parents be present, that they want an attorney, and they want to remain silent.  These children must learn to hold their ground despite being threatened by the principal.  It is the American school system that has forced parents into this position.  It was not this way 30 years ago. 

It does not take much to get a young child to admit to something that they did not do.

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