ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – There’s a new wrinkle in what a star high school wrestler has to do to get out of battery and larceny charges stemming from a high-profile bullying case.
As part of his route to having the charges dismissed Nick Chavez will have to set up an anti-bullying program at Rio Grande High School.
The problem? Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Winston Brooks says the punishment shows the judge is totally out of line and out of touch on how to discipline kids.
“I would have much rather have seen the judge say to Nick Chavez, ‘Look. Why don’t you take responsibility for what you did and try to make it right some how?” Brooks told KRQE News 13. “I’m not sure if making it right is for him to create a new anti-bullying program. We have anti-bullying programs.”
Back in February, nick Chavez mugged a smaller student in the Rio Grande high cafeteria for $15. APS suspended Chavez, but his attorney called for an emergency hearing with a judge saying the district didn’t give him his due process.
The judge quickly overturned the suspension allowing him to compete in the state wrestling tournament.
Last week in court, when Chavez faced criminal charges in the case, Judge Daniel Ramczyk told him if he can be good for three months the charges will be dismissed.
Chavez also has another condition to follow.
According to court documents signed by the judge on Tuesday, Chavez must sponsor or implement an anti-bullying program at Rio Grande and encourage all students to sign a pledge at the beginning of each year promising to respect and care for one another.
That’s only if feasible, the judge added.
But Brooks says it’s not feasible because Chavez graduates next week.
Chavez claimed the incident was horseplay, but the victim, in a letter read in court, made it clear he was bullied and also disappointed in the politicians who stepped in to help Chavez