UPDATED 5/20 with statements from Round Rock ISD.

Round Rock Independent School District is embroiled in controversy again. This time on multiple fronts. 

A recently surfaced letter alleged that Round Rock ISD leadership covered up the sexual assault of a five-year-old female student. 

The letter, dated April 30 and sent by former Chief of Police of Round Rock ISD Dennis Weiner to Superintendent Dr. Hafedh Azaiez, claimed that Azaiez knew of the sexual assault and did not inform district police of the crime. 

Weiner’s letter followed a report that the district replaced him with interim Chief Lauren Griffith on May 14. That announcement came shortly after a “Culture and Climate” report of the school district police was shared on social media by concerned citizens who had tried to get the report through a public information request. The district had appealed the request to the Texas attorney general’s office. The AG’s office ordered the district to release the requested documents. 

The report suggested the department was “chaotic,” “toxic,” “full of favoritism,” and in need of reform. Among the allegations in the report were police officers not being at their assigned schools, and “there may be a connection” between Weiner and a vendor of the police.

“It’s outrageous that Round Rock ISD Superintendent Hafedh Azaiez and School Board President Amber Feller Landrum tried to hide this report from the public. It’s clear they broke the law to cover up this scandal that reflects on their lack of leadership,” attorney Tony McDonald told Texas Scorecard. “State officials need to look long and hard at the corruption at RRISD, and they should strengthen the Public Information Act to hold officials who abuse it accountable.”

Weiner alleged the sexual assault took place on Friday, April 12. He wrote that it involved a five-year-old girl and an 11-year-old on a district-owned and operated school bus. The assault was witnessed by a district bus driver who made a transportation supervisor aware of the situation. They reviewed video footage of the assault and sent a copy to school administrative leadership, but never informed the police. The administration spoke with the involved parties and their guardians and released them for the day.

It wasn’t until Monday, April 15 at “nearly” 4 p.m. that a campus assistant principal called police dispatch requesting that an officer call her back to document the assault. 

Weiner asserted the principal of the elementary school, area superintendent, senior chief of schools, general counsel, Title IX investigator, and Azaiez knew of the criminal activity but failed to report it to the district police. 

Additionally, Weiner added that he had met with Azaiez at 1 p.m. on April 15 for their scheduled one-on-one meeting, where Azaiez asked if Weiner had heard anything from the elementary school. Weiner responded saying he had not and asked Azaiez what it was regarding, who reportedly said he did not have any details and only knew that there were “language issues involved.” 

“I suspect that at 1 pm Monday when we were meeting, that you did have specific information regarding a crime that had occurred involving students from that school. I base this on the fact that I found out later that the district took action against the subject student to suspend their transportation privileges before noon that day,” Weiner wrote. “I do not believe that this is an action that would occur without your knowledge. If you did have specific knowledge that this incident did occur, it is unconscionable that you, as superintendent, would withhold reporting this sexual assault on a student entrusted to the district’s care.” 

The letter also reveals that after an investigation was launched into the alleged assault, it was found that the 11-year-old subject had previously assaulted both the victim and another student on the same bus route. 

Weiner wrote “there may not be any criminal liability or malfeasance in the current case or in the historic practices and actions of district leadership,” but did complain about “undue influence, pressure, or involvement” hindering his ability to do his job. He added he formally requested the involvement of the Texas attorney general’s office. 

Weiner also alleged that since he joined the district police, he’s “experienced numerous practices of non-reporting and delayed reporting of crimes and interference with police operations and investigations by district staff.” 

Round Rock ISD Trustees Mary Bone and Danielle Weston stated that after they received Weiner’s letter they were shocked and concerned for the students, families, and staff in the district. 

“We are sharing this publicly now because we refuse to be party to any possible cover-up that involves the safety of children, or anything else. The truth is that we do not know whether the allegations from the chief of police are true or not. That is not for us to determine. Our duty resides in a loyalty and commitment to the safety and protection of the children that parents entrust to us in our schools. That is what has driven us to share this,” wrote Weston and Bone. 

They also stated they reported the letter’s allegations to the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department. 

Weston and Bone wrote that Weston “insisted (in writing to current board president Amber Feller Landrum” that a special meeting of the school board is called to address Weiner’s letter.  “She refused,” Weston and Bone wrote. “Again, we refuse to be party to a possible cover-up regarding the safety of every single child in RRISD.”

Jill Farris, a parent in Round Rock ISD, told Texas Scorecard that she is disgusted with herself for allowing her daughters to attend school in the district. 

“I feel like I put their lives in danger,” said Farris. “I really just don’t feel like your kids are safe … I really hope that the Attorney General comes in and investigates, and does something because there’s really no recourse for parents at this point.”

Questions remain about whether or not Weiner is still employed by the district or not at present. While it was widely reported that he is no longer with the school police, Trustee Danielle Weston isn’t sure. “All director-level employees have one-year employment contracts that run from 1 Jul to 30 Jun. I have no knowledge that anything has changed with [the] contract so my understanding is that he is still employed,” Trustee Danielle Weston told Texas Scorecard. “The only thing I have seen is a statement that an interim chief has been appointed.”

Round Rock ISD has been the center of controversy for years ever since trustees hired Azaiez as superintendent in 2021.

Local citizens accused RRISD school board members of forgoing a public forum and rushing the hiring process for Azaiez. Trustees Danielle Weston and Mary Bone later revealed that their fellow school board trustees had been alerted to accusations of domestic violence against Azaiez by his mistress, but ignored the information. Azaiez agreed to a permanent restraining order with his former mistress.

Five trustees—Amy Weir, Jun Xiao, Amber Feller, Cory Vessa, and Tiffanie Harrison—voted to hire Azaiez despite the objections of Weston and Bone, as well as local parents in 2021. Citizens in the district dubbed the five trustees who voted to install Azaiez the “Bad Faith Five.” Of those five, only Weir, Feller, and Harrison remain on the board. 

At a school board meeting, two fathers, Jeremy Story and Dustin Clark, protested Azaiez’s continued employment and a proposed tax increase in September 2021. However, the district coordinated with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office to arrest Story and Clark on charges of “hindering proceedings by disorderly conduct.” Both men were released the next day.​​

Statement from Round Rock ISD in response to the letter:

Our commitment to the safety and well being of our students has never wavered. The content of Mr. Weiner’s letter inaccurately represents personnel matters and an incident involving minors. All incidents involving students have been addressed in accordance with applicable law and district policy.

Statement from Round Rock ISD Board of Trustees in response to the letter:

At the May 16, 2024 Board meeting, the Board of Trustees was briefed in closed session about a personnel matter involving a letter that Mr. Weiner sent to the superintendent. Mr. Weiner’s letter referred to a serious incident involving children that is under current investigation and to other personnel matters related to Mr. Weiner’s employment with the district.


The May 16th meeting was attended by six Trustees but Trustee Bone voluntarily left the meeting before the Board discussed the matter and related materials in executive session. All seven Trustees were aware prior to the start of the meeting that Mr. Weiner’s letter was the subject of agenda item K4.


We want to assure the community that the Board has reviewed Mr. Weiner’s letter and is aware of the incidents raised in that letter. The safety and security of the students and staff of Round Rock ISD are of the utmost concern, and the Board will fully cooperate and support any resulting investigations.


Finally, we are deeply disappointed in the actions of two of our colleagues that they chose to release an un-redacted letter that could potentially compromise the privacy of minor children and related investigations.

Texas Scorecard reached out to the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department for comment on the situation but did not receive a response before publication.

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.