The case of a high school football coach who beat a student so severely with a "canoe paddle" that the wood board cracked didn't make it to a grand jury because Dallas school district police failed to follow up with the district attorney's office, prosecutors said.
The Lincoln High School student suffered severe bruising and welts to his lower back, upper thighs and buttocks in the 2007 paddling and was referred to a doctor for treatment.
A parent reported the beating to the district's child abuse office and the incident was referred to district police for possible criminal action. The department said it was stale and lacked photographs of the injuries.
School district police talked to the Dallas County district attorney's office but didn't request that they prosecute, The Dallas Morning News reported in Friday's edition.
"We did give some guidance to DISD police on some things that they could do to further their investigation, but we never heard back from them," said Terri Moore, the district attorney's top assistant. "We never received a prosecution report from them. We have not turned away any case."
Paddling is prohibited in Dallas public schools but is legal in Texas.
The student received up to 21 strikes from then head football coach Jerry Sands as seven members of the football coaching staff watched. Sands, who has been on paid administrative leave since September, wrote in an affidavit that he wanted to help the student "make it in life" and didn't intend to hurt him.