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The dramatic, public battles taking place in school boards across the country have recently elevated one Texas school district into the national spotlight.
At Round Rock Independent School District, there appears to be a split in the school board, with five members alleged to be very close to formally censuring two of their more conservative fellow board members. The two conservatives are accusing the five of subverting the will of the voters and engaging in a “naked political hit job,” according to Fox News.
The measure was placed on the agenda by Amy Weir, who is currently president of the Round Rock school district’s Board of Trustees, and targets her colleagues, Mary Bone and Danielle Weston. The censure is in response to Weston and Bone’s complaints that the school district was in violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act by not allowing the public in for a school board meeting back on the 14th of September.
“The vicious censure resolutions to strip Trustee Mary Bone and me of the powers and duties bestowed upon us by the voters is a naked political hit job. The majority on the board are diverting taxpayer dollars and manpower away from students and teachers to destroy our reputations and inflict financial pain,” Weston told Fox News.
The two targeted members immediately filed a lawsuit, seeking an injunction from a judge against the board voting on the censure measure, which was granted by Judge Betsy Lambeth. In response, Weir and the other four members filed a motion seeking to challenge the decision, saying the court has no jurisdiction over the meeting. The court will conduct a hearing on that matter on December 22nd.
When sought for comment by Fox News, Weir’s reply was measured, while subtly taking a jab at Bone and Weston’s decision to talk to the media about the matter:
“We are not going to discuss the merits of the censure resolutions that are currently the subject of litigation. We will respect Judge Lambeth’s order and not interfere with her decision-making process.”
The justification for the censure resolution mostly seems to be in relation to the tumultuous meeting held on September 14th. At that meeting, there had been only 18 chairs available for the audience, which would keep the size of the audience to a minimum in relation to the potential pool of parents, given that the Round Rock school district covers some of the largest high schools in Texas, with some 50,000 students. Police officers were allegedly placed at doors to prevent the public from entering the meeting.
Round Rock Independent School District hasn’t been a stranger to controversy this year, including the alleged use of police to silence critics, such as two fathers arrested for allegedly disrupting the board’s meetings, including the notorious September 14th meeting. The two fathers, Dustin Clark and Jeremy Story, are still awaiting a court date.
“This is our reward for speaking out when the majority marginalizes parents and stations the police at the entry of our board meetings, prohibiting access. Since a restraining order is now in place to protect us, the majority have pivoted to other mechanisms to attack us. They are combing through our emails and planning taxpayer-funded investigations with no end in sight. Kids deserve better. We aren’t going anywhere,” Weston told Fox News.
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