Located outside of Austin, Round Rock Independent School District has faced multiple scandals in the past few years due to its treatment of parents and taxpayers.

A federal judge ruled this week to permit a lawsuit against RRISD officials alleging First and Fourteenth Amendment violations, as well as violations of Texas’ Open Meetings Act, to move forward. RRISD Trustee Mary Bone then moved to add an agenda item that would request the resignation of RRISD Trustee and former Board President Amy Weir “for multiple violations of the law” as alleged in the lawsuit.

Bone’s motion Thursday evening stated:

In response to federal judge’s David Allen Ezra’s order… which implicates Amy Weir as an individual, not in her official capacity and who at the time was a Texas BAR licensed attorney, including first and fourth amendment [violations] plus violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act… Also due to her utilization of public funds to pay for individual representation without board approval. And due to these actions the board believes Amy Weir cannot place the best interests of the district and students above her individual issues, that the board formally add an agenda item to formally request that Amy Weir resign from her place on the Round Rock ISD board of trustees and pay back all public funds expended on the federal case for her individual benefit.

Weir fled the meeting as Bone brought her motion. Bone’s motion ultimately failed, with two trustees voting in favor and four against.

Although Bone had another motion ready to be heard by the board, RRISD Board President Amber Feller Landrum quickly adjourned the meeting before Bone could proceed.

“In my view, the board president, Amber Feller Landrum, abused her power by intentionally and improperly adjourning in the Aug 17, 2023 board meeting in a rushed fashion for the purpose of preventing Trustee Mary Bone from putting forward motions as she is entitled to do as an elected trustee,” RRISD Trustee Danielle Weston told Texas Scorecard.

“[N]one of this will stop me from doing what is right by God and law to ensure the district’s focus is educating children and not covering up adult malfeasance,” Bone told Texas Scorecard.

A District Surrounded By Controversy

The district has been a center of controversy since the hiring of Superintendent Hafedh Azaiez in 2021.

Local citizens accused RRISD school board members of forgoing a public forum and rushing the hiring process for Azaiez. School board Trustees Danielle Weston and Mary Bone later revealed that their fellow school board trustees had been alerted to accusations of domestic violence against Azaiez but ignored the information.

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. Citizens in the district dubbed the five trustees who voted to install Azaiez the “Bad Faith Five.”

Two fathers, Jeremy Story and Dustin Clark, protested Azaiez’s continued employment and a proposed tax increase in September of 2021 at a school board meeting, but 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.​​

Federal Lawsuit

In May 2022, Story and Clark filed a federal lawsuit against the “Bad Faith Five” trustees, Superintendent Azaiez, and several district police officers.

The lawsuit claims the defendants violated Story and Clark’s rights under the First Amendment and the 14th Amendment. Additionally, the suit accused the defendants of violating 42 U.S. Code § 1983 by misusing their power to deny the men’s constitutional rights.

Now, David Alan Ezra, a federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, has upheld many of Story and Clark’s claims against RRISD and its officials in a July 26 ruling, rejecting the defendant’s motions to dismiss many of the claims. The lawsuit will now proceed to discovery and eventually to trial.

“We view this decision as strong affirmation of the legal viability of our claims,” said Story in a statement. “The school district’s attempts to dismiss our claims and sweep them under the ‘legal rug’ have failed. What is at stake is the basic right to free speech without fear of government retaliation. I was arrested and jailed for exposing the misdeeds of trustees and administrators.”

RRISD 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.