A citizen is suing Arlington Independent School District over the trustees’s refusal to hold a public hearing regarding his grievance about his unanswered questions regarding policies for gender-confused students.
David Jarvis, a citizen living within Arlington ISD, first emailed AISD administrators, former Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos, and the board of trustees with questions about what guidance AISD gives to teachers for addressing sensitive sexuality-related matters.
His questions included topics such as same-sex attraction, gender identity, a biological boy wanting to use the girl’s restrooms and locker rooms, and what guidance (if any) is given to teachers about notifying the parents of students who ask sensitive questions.
According to Jarvis, AISD officials consistently disregarded his emails, which led to him filing a formal Level One grievance against the district.
After more than a year and a half of filing multiple grievances regarding the matter, AISD continued to ignore Jarvis’ questions.
“They see themselves as guardians of the public trust. But they’re not. That’s just not true. They don’t guard the public trust. They betray the public trust. They undermine the public trust by refusing to communicate with parents and taxpayers on critical issues,” Jarvis told Texas Scorecard.
Jarvis eventually had a Level Four consolidated grievance hearing before the AISD school board on June 8, 2023. However, through a unanimous vote, the school board turned an open meeting into a private session closed from the public. The board even had security remove all citizens from the room before Jarvis could make his presentation, citing exemptions in the Texas Government Code.
The board claimed that Jarvis would complain about certain employees or elected officials. Jarvis agreed to only discuss the misconduct of AISD employees, but not identify the employees. However, the school district attorney, Dennis Eichelbaum, overruled his objection and closed the meeting.
“This is the kind of arrogance and bullying tactics we’re facing at AISD, and I suspect many other school districts, particularly in the larger population cities,” said Jarvis.
After the June 8 debacle, Jarvis felt he had no other option but to file a lawsuit against the district and the seven board members for violating the Texas Open Meetings Act.
Jarvis told Texas Scorecard that he will dismiss the lawsuit if the board gives him a rehearing that is open to the public.
“Now if you’ll simply give me a rehearing, this lawsuit goes away. That’s all I’m asking for. That’s all I’ve ever wanted,” explained Jarvis. “You denied me an open hearing in front of the public on June 8 of 2023. You’ve ignored the demand letters, so now you’ve got a lawsuit. If you want the lawsuit to go away, give me an open hearing and after that hearing is completed, then we dismiss the lawsuit.”
Jarvis says this situation boils down to the board’s lack of transparency and respect for parental rights in education.
“You want us to trust you, the board, with our vote but you refuse to trust us, the voters, with the truth?” said Jarvis. “This is the big picture. We have a board that shows a lack of respect to the taxpayers and the parents by refusing to answer simple questions.”
President of the board, Melody Fowler, told Texas Scorecard that, “Arlington ISD has received notice of a lawsuit filed by Mr. David Jarvis. After careful review, the Board of Trustees stands by its decision to move the grievance hearing referenced by Mr. Jarvis to a closed session. The law allows the district to close a hearing if the grievance is against a district officer or employee, which was the case.”