A North Texas school district facing a lawsuit for squelching free speech at board meetings is proposing an innovative new way to silence parents.
On Tuesday, McKinney Independent School District will consider using its “District of Innovation” status to exempt itself from state laws governing how attendees at school events are treated by district officials.
McKinney ISD trustees will vote to amend the district’s local innovation plan to include an exemption that authorizes district staff to “remove parents or visitors whose behavior is deemed inappropriate without warning or written notice.”
Superintendent Rick McDaniel is recommending that board members adopt the amendment “to provide flexibility in addressing unruly visitors.”
School Board President Amy Dankel and other district staff are already facing a civil rights lawsuit for suppressing the First Amendment rights of citizens who disagree with McKinney ISD policies.
Section 37.105 of the Texas Education Code states that a school district administrator, resource officer, or peace officer may eject a person from district property if the person refuses to leave peaceably on request and either (1) poses a substantial risk of harm, or (2) behaves “in a manner that is inappropriate for a school setting” and after a “verbal warning” persists in that behavior.
The proposed amendment to McKinney ISD’s local innovation plan allows the district to deny citizens the required warning and notice of appeal:
In 2017, the Texas Legislature changed the law on how school administrators can eject unruly guests from school events. This applies to parents and community members, not students.
Under the law, the guest must be given a warning before he or she is ejected. Upon ejection, the guest must also be given notice of how he/she can appeal the ejection.
This new amendment seeks to allow designated staff members the authority to remove parents or visitors whose behavior is deemed inappropriate without warning or written notice.
If trustees approve McDaniel’s proposal, McKinney ISD will submit the amendment to the Texas Education Agency for approval.
Citizens can speak during public comments starting at 6:00 p.m., and they may also contact the school board members.