ROUND ROCK — A troubling and contentious scandal continues in a “safe and suburban” Central Texas school district.
On Thursday night, after months of public outcry and delays, the Round Rock Independent School District board of trustees is scheduled to meet behind closed doors to again discuss and potentially decide on the employment of Superintendent Hafedh Azaiez, who has been accused of domestic assault.
Texas Scorecard chronicled the months-long saga in a recent special report and exclusive podcast series, Exposed, which included state government investigations into the district and five of the seven school board members facing allegations of covering up Azaiez’ alleged violence. The recent events in Round Rock made national headlines.
Since January, Azaiez has been on paid administrative leave, pending investigations, and still collected roughly $90,000 of his taxpayer-funded salary during that time. The school board, meanwhile, has repeatedly delayed any decision on Azaiez’ employment.
For Thursday’s meeting, the board has proposed three potential actions: reinstate Azaiez as their superintendent, approve a “separation agreement” with him (which two of the trustees previously called “hush money”), or terminate his contract.
“You do not care that you’ve wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars protecting and defending a superintendent that you never should have hired in the first place,” citizen Jill Farris testified to the school board earlier this month. “You have completely lost touch with what should be your primary focus—the students and staff of Round Rock ISD.”
“It’s time for you five to stop running for cover and hiding from your misdeeds, and start fixing these giant messes you made,” Farris added.