School Bans Mother for Saying Something - But, It Won't Say What

Barbara Boland
By Barbara Boland | April 25, 2014 | 4:37 PM EDT

A legal group has come to the defense of Yvonne Garcia, a Texas mother from San Antonio who has been banned from the grounds of her children's public school, after the principal claimed she heard the mother using "inappropriate language" in a conversation with another parent. Garcia has been threatened with arrest if she enters school grounds.

Garcia denies Principal Erica Lopez's claim that she used inappropriate language on school grounds and the Rutherford Institute has come to her defense. Rutherford says Garcia was also not given an opportunity to respond after the principal made the accusation and presented her with a "Trespass Warning Letter" banning her from school grounds.

The trespass letter "gives no detail about the reason or justification for banning Ms. Garcia from entry to the school, other than broadly stating that she engaged in 'unacceptable and disruptive behavior,'" Rutherford notes in a letter to Principal Lopez.

She's been forced to pick her children up across the street (not on school grounds) and can't meet with the school nurse about her son's anxiety condition - he's had five anxiety attacks since this occurred, in December.

"Depriving a parent" of a "fundamental right" like "the access to their child's school without explanation or opportunity to challenge such a determination harms both the child and the parent," the Rutherford Institute said in their strongly-worded letter to the school on Ms. Garcia's behalf. This is Rutherford's second letter to the school requesting a response.

The school's decision to continue to ban Ms. Garcia from school property "flies in the face of longstanding recognition by the courts that parents have a liberty interest in the 'care, custody, and control of their children,'" the Rutherford Institute's press release states.

So that they can advise her of her legal options, attorneys have requested that the school respond by Wednesday, April 30th. Under the current ban, Garcia cannot attend her son's upcoming graduation ceremony.

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