MCKINNEY—A McKinney Independent School District mom is accusing the district of retaliation after she filed a grievance over a case of bullying that sent her child to the hospital.

Last year, Jasmine Brown moved her family to Fairview, choosing the area because she felt it was “a good place to raise my two boys.”

However, she soon encountered issues with the school district as her son, hereafter referred to as E, experienced physical assaults arising from bullying.

“On October 2, so about a month and a half into school, E reported [to McKinney High School] that a student slapped him during class,” Jasmine told Texas Scorecard. “I asked them [McKinney High School Officials] to investigate it and they said that they couldn’t find any evidence to support it.”

On October 4 around 9 a.m., I received a call from the school. It was the counselor, the principal, and the nurse. And they stated that I needed to be aware that E was physically assaulted again. And this time the extent was so bad that I needed to make a decision of them transporting him by ambulance, or if I could get someone to the school to take him to the hospital.

“I worked an hour away and I was panicking because I didn’t know what to do,” she said. “And so we developed a plan. I was scared to have him go by ambulance by himself, you know, with everything happening. So we developed a plan that the nurse would sit with him until I could get there. And if anything changed in his vital signs they would call 911.”

Jasmine got to the school and learned that the same student E had reported on October 2 had “physically assaulted him and planned an attack and beat him” with another student.

“When I looked at E, he had blood on his clothes, his backpack. There were bruises all over his body,” explained Jasmine.

“And I got to the school and almost felt as if I was being pushed out to hurry up and just take them to the hospital and not make reports. And I had to make a decision of no, I’m not leaving until you get an officer here now,” said Jasmine.

She and E made a report to the School Resource Officer (SRO). The SRO then called in a forensic unit to take pictures of E to document the assault.

“We then went to the hospital, the emergency room, where E was diagnosed with a concussion due to head trauma, and he had contusions which were very visible over his body,” said Jasmine.

“And so I was very upset,” she explained. “Now, this is nine months of continuing the same things that I have been begging the district to help me with and now it’s ended with my son being in the hospital.”

A History of Bullying in McKinney ISD

Earlier this year, on January 27, E went to a counselor at Faubion Middle School and told the counselor that he had been assaulted and made claims of bullying.

According to Jasmine, “the Counselor spoke with him and stated that she wanted him to think about it, and what he wanted to do as far as reporting it, or trying to, you know, mediate it with the student.”

On January 30, Jasmine said, “he went to school, and was punched and attacked.”

“No one contacted me from the school and told me that he was assaulted and made claims of bullying,” said Jasmine. “So I didn’t know throughout the weekend what had occurred. I wasn’t given an opportunity to intervene.”

Regarding the attack, Jasmine said, “It was excessive. They punched him from behind and he fell on the ground and they began to beat him. All of this was recorded on the surveillance cameras at the school where I was contacted by the police in the administration to come get him because of the attack.”

“That’s how I found out about the incident that happened Friday,” explained Jasmine.

She filed a complaint with the school because they hadn’t contacted her.

“On February 8, there was another assault,” said Jasmine. “So the same student that punched him on the 30th, I guess was suspended, as soon as the boy came back to school—before school started—he began to try to attack E. E texted me and said, ‘Mom, please help me. Come get me from school.’ And at this point, this is a third incident and it started to escalate and I felt I wasn’t getting support from the district.”

Jasmine contacted the superintendent. Afterwards, the school administration opened an investigation.

“I received a certified letter from the school on February 20, stating that E was in fact being bullied,” said Jasmine. “And the investigation confirmed that all of my allegations were true. And I kind of felt victory at that point because I felt I had been heard and there was some type of accountability being made.”

The school instituted stay-away agreements for the students. These agreements allowed the students to modify their schedules so they would not have any contact at school.

There were no additional incidents for the remainder of the 2022-2023 school year.

Back to October

On October 5, after E’s assault, Jasmine asked the district for copies of the stay-away agreements that were supposed to be implemented on October 2 following E’s first complaint. She also requested all plans the school implemented to ensure E’s safety.

“I also told them that I read the code of conduct and I have a right to file grievances, which I began to do,” said Jasmine. “And so I kind of made a disruption at the district by asking for all these documents and letting them know that they have failed to ensure my child’s safety after repeated allegations of bullying and assault, and the same children beating him.”

The district began an investigation and asked that E stay home in the meantime.

E was supposed to return to school on Wednesday, October 11.

On Tuesday, Jasmine said she emailed the principal to inform him that she would be keeping E home until the district could inform her of the plans to ensure E’s safety.

“Two hours later I received a phone call,” said Jasmine. “The phone call was from the House Principal Mr. Torres and the Head Principal Dr. Kent, and they stated that it has been confirmed that E was assaulted. They see it on the camera. However, he is being placed in alternative education.”

“So it’s DAEP for 30 days. Because during the fight, E hit a teacher and that is considered assault,” explained Jasmine. “And I kind of almost hit the ground because I didn’t expect that number one, but also I was so confused of what was happening. And I told them during that phone call that they are retaliating against me because I filed grievances throughout the district. And this is a way of them trying to get my child out of the school and make me be quiet because they have failed to secure his safety.”

“And in my mind, they are also not reliable,” said Jasmine. “The assault is based off of them not following up on their protocol. And so, at that time, things have kind of escalated since October 11.”

Jasmine hired a lawyer, and E has remained home from school since. Jasmine said she’s requested his homework but has not been provided with it.

“The same individuals that are investigating my grievances are the same individuals that have given him 30 days of alternative placement,” highlighted Jasmine.

Jasmine is appealing the DAEP placement, and her lawyer requested from the school all video evidence and documentation that led to the decision.

The district has yet to send the school surveillance footage, but Jasmine said they did send “personal recordings from students’ Snapchats.” She explained that her lawyer “was shocked” by that decision and is still awaiting the school’s own footage.

“And so at this point, I feel that the school district is retaliating against me because I’m making noise about their inability to ensure student safety and their violation of their own code with making sure that they follow through with bullying allegations.”

“The stay-away agreements were implemented on October 2, two days prior to the jumping,” said Jasmine. “They did not change any schedules. They did not send copies to parents. They did nothing that they were supposed to do to make sure that these students did not have access to my son. And because of that, around 7:30 a.m. on the 4th, E was brutally beaten by two students.”

Jasmine has been met with an outpouring of support from community members and some district officials.

“Apparently this has been going on within this district and of course, I just moved here I had no clue,” she said. “And so other parents are also experiencing this. However, they’re kind of tired and they just bow down and just deal with it. But I’m choosing to fight and have a voice for my son.”

Jasmine still has to present E’s case on appeal to overturn the DAEP placement.

“When a child has been given alternative school placement, and specifically a violation of assault on a staff, that follows their record and it will be difficult for me to even enroll him in another school district with that type of verbiage on his record,” explained Jasmine. “E has never been in trouble before, never been suspended outside of these investigations, and he’s an honor roll student that volunteers and goes to church and I’m trying to make sure that I can get his name cleared.”

Jasmine said she has learned a lot from this experience and is particularly flabbergasted at the grievance processes for government schools.

“How is it that the same staff that have caused emotional distress and negligence to my child’s safety are the same ones that are allowed to investigate my complaints? That does not make sense to me,” said Jasmine. “It seems as if the school district is the judge, the jury, and the bailiff, and parents have no way of truly being heard and advocated for. If I’m filing grievances amongst the staff, how are they allowed to contact me and schedule grievance hearings?”

“Two days after I filed grievances and hand-delivered them to the school, the same principal, Dr. Kent contacted me, and said that I can meet with her in person in her office to discuss the grievance process, and I declined and stated that I felt that she did not have a viewpoint that would be unbiased and I could not meet with her,” she explained. “There needs to be some type of changes in the policies to advocate for parents and children. To make sure that we’re truly heard.”

McKinney ISD did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s request for comment before publication.

Sydnie Henry

A born and bred Texan, Sydnie serves as the Managing Editor for Texas Scorecard. She graduated from Patrick Henry College with a B.A. in Government and is utilizing her research and writing skills to spread truth to Texans.