ROUND ROCK—The “safe and suburban” Central Texas school district, located just outside of Austin, has been wracked with scandal for the past year as a superintendent under criminal investigation is protected by a school board majority actively working against district parents.
In the latest development of the ongoing saga, a state court has dismissed a lawsuit—with prejudice (meaning it cannot be appealed)—that requested the removal of pro-parent trustee Danielle Weston from the Round Rock ISD school board.
Weston, in a radio interview with Austin’s KLBJ, explained, “The frivolous lawsuit was filled with over a dozen bizarre complaints, everything from, you know, bribery—I think that was a favorite of all the accusations. He was citing political contributions.”
“The amount of money that has flowed to me as a political candidate because of what these people are doing here in our school district has really been concerning to those who are the allies of the other school board members—who have engaged in some problematic behavior, in my opinion,” said Weston of the aforementioned political contributions.
Last year, five school board members—Amy Weir, Jun Xiao, Amber Feller, Cory Vessa, and Tiffanie Harrison—rushed into hiring Hafedh Azaiez as superintendent in June despite objections from fellow trustees (Dr. Mary Bone and Danielle Weston) and citizens.
These five school board members, whom citizens dubbed the “Bad Faith Five,” have protected Azaiez through allegations of domestic abuse and criminal investigations into his behavior, which are ongoing despite some trustees’ claims.
On Wednesday, the 425th District Court in Williamson County dismissed the lawsuit against Weston and the request for her removal from the board.
“The Bad Faith Five have been repeatedly rejected by the courts in their efforts to harass Trustee Weston,” said Weston’s attorney, Tony McDonald. “They [Bad Faith Five] should stop wasting resources on legal squabbling and focus on serving RRISD students and families.”
“I believe that the school district and [the] majority of our board is so consumed with protecting the superintendent and trying to distract [the public],” says Weston, that the majority fails “to focus on meeting the educational needs of our students.”
Parents are reaching out to me in droves because they are not happy. They are not satisfied. They have lost confidence in the leadership of this school board. They are ready for change.
The lawsuit against Weston was filed by an activist in Tyler with connections to the board majority, and Weston contends, “The lawsuit was never about me. They knew they were never going to remove me from office. It was about generating negative headlines for one purpose, and that is to influence the upcoming Round Rock ISD school board elections.”
In November, trustees Weir, Feller, Harrison, and Vessa will be up for re-election. Xiao has resigned, and an interim board member will be appointed to fulfill the remainder of Xiao’s term until the November election.
Weston explained that several pro-parent candidates will be running in the November election to challenge the Bad Faith Five.