As we mentioned last week, David and Amy Truong have filed a federal lawsuit against the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District and Hamilton Middle School. The Truongs are the parents of Asher Brown, the 13-year-old who committed suicide in September after reportedly being bullied at school.
The Houston Chronicle noted in its report about the lawsuit that the Truong’s older son had been removed from the home by Child and Family Protective Services because of alleged abuse.
The Truongs believe the school district has been raising child abuse allegations since Asher’s death to deflect blame from school officials. The Truongs also questioned how the Houston Chronicle got a copy of the abuse allegations even before the case had gone to family court.
Estella Olguin, a spokeswoman for CFPS in the Houston area, said the agency doesn’t release case files. She said the reporter from the Houston Chronicle obtained a copy directly from the judge. A judge is allowed to release files in open investigations.
Olguin said CFPS normally investigates a home when there is a death of a child, especially if a suicide is involved. Her department cannot, however, investigate and charge a school if bullying was involved — even if negligence by school personnel is found.
CFPS also investigates when someone refers a case.
Olguin could not tell us whether someone referred the case after Asher’s death and if so, who it was. She also could not tell me whether it was referred or it was a routine investigation triggered by the suicide.
The Truongs believe the school district may have asked CFPS to open the investigation.
In their lawsuit, the Truongs accuse school district officials of publicly stating on several occasions that there was no evidence Asher was bullied. Evidence such as David Truong’s signed visitor sheets that show he met with school officials about the problem is missing and, the lawsuit alleges it was destroyed by the district.
David answered the abuse allegations in an email to us. We’ve posted the full text of his email below.