The contentious saga in Round Rock Independent School District continues after four school board trustees broke quorum to avoid a grievance hearing for a parent who was arrested after attending a school board meeting earlier this year.
Texas Scorecard has chronicled multiple scandals involving Round Rock ISD in a special report and a podcast series, Exposed, which includes investigations into the school district and its superintendent, Dr. Hafedh Azaiez. Five of the district’s seven trustees, dubbed the “Bad Faith Five,” were also scrutinized for allegedly covering up domestic violence allegations against Azaiez.
At a school board meeting last year, Round Rock ISD officers removed local father Jeremy Story after he referenced the investigation into Azaiez. Amy Weir, president of the school board, instructed district officers to escort Story from the building, claiming his concerns about Azaiez did not follow the meeting’s agenda.
At the same meeting, trustees Mary Bone and Danielle Weston walked out after accusing the district of intentionally limiting seating under the guise of following COVID-19 safety guidelines. Local father Dustin Clark then demanded the board let more citizens in to witness the meeting, and Weir instructed district officers to escort him out.
Three days later, Williamson County officers arrested Story and Clark.
The two men later filed a lawsuit against five school board trustees, the district superintendent, and several district police officers, accusing them of suppressing Story and Clark’s constitutional rights and claiming they were illegally arrested.
Story also filed a grievance against the school district after his arrest, entitling him to a grievance hearing in front of the Round Rock ISD school board within 90 days. However, Story claims the school district did not respond to his request for more than a month and delayed his grievance hearing for over a year.
When the board met last week to hear Story’s complaint, trustees Amy Weir, Amber Feller, Tiffany Harrison, and Cory Vessa broke quorum and ended the meeting, citing their involvement in Story and Clark’s lawsuit. Feller, the current board president, claimed the district’s legal department should handle the issue. Although trustee Danielle Weston refuted this argument, the four board members left the meeting without hearing Story’s grievance.
In response to the board members walking out of the grievance hearing, Story criticized Round Rock ISD for limiting parents’ freedom of speech.
“This strengthens our federal lawsuit by once again demonstrating the ongoing trend and premeditated intent of these malfeasant five board members to silence free speech rights of parents who are critical of the board,” said Story. “They egregiously stopped me from speaking lawfully a year ago, subsequently unlawfully catalyzed my arrest and jailing, and now are trying to keep me from my lawful right to have a hearing before them about their wrongful actions. This belongs in a communist country, not in America.”