For years, students in Neches Independent School District felt targeted by Kim Snider, the elementary school principal recently indicted for tampering with physical evidence in an investigation of sexual assault of a child. Snider has also been charged with five counts of official oppression.
Now, former students have come forward to share how they were treated by Snider and how their complaints went unanswered by the Neches school board and Superintendent Randy Snider, who is Kim’s husband.
These individuals told Texas Scorecard the pain from their experiences has lasted into adulthood.
Lyric Moyers shared her story of the treatment she received when Kim Snider was her teacher.
“When I was in the third grade, it was Mrs. Snider’s first year of teaching,” Moyers said:
“My mom had bad issues, and I was a very abused and neglected child. Most of the time, school was an outlet for me and the only time I ate in those years of my childhood. I came to school dirty, clothes too small, hair a mess, and smelled like whatever my mom was smoking depending on the day. Instead of helping me or talking to me, [Snider] made fun of me in front of the entire class.”
Her former classmates still remember how Moyers was treated.
One former student has asked that the following story be shared anonymously, as they are afraid of retaliation from Sniders and are still traumatized by the treatment they received years ago. This story is similar to what others experienced when they upset Snider.
When Snider was still a teacher and sent students to the office, she would then make them stay in the cafeteria for the remainder of the week. These students would often sit in the cafeteria by themselves to do their classwork. The administration did not call to inform parents if their child was sent to the cafeteria unsupervised.
Many people have stated that if a transfer student had complaints about Mrs. Snider, their transfer would be revoked.
One parent reached out to explain why she did not file complaints at the time, but she feels that past actions deserve to be heard.
Jeri Cleveland has two daughters who attended Neches ISD, and both girls were star students. One graduated as the salutatorian in 2019 and the other as valedictorian in 2020.
“There was an incident that happened when my oldest was in seventh grade (2013-2014) that I was very unhappy with,” Cleveland said:
“At that time, my girls would not let me talk to Mrs. Snider or anyone about it because they were transfer students and had heard many stories about other transfer students being kicked out because their parents confronted Mrs. Snider. My girls were happy at Neches otherwise and did not want to have to change schools, so I did what I thought was best for them at that time and kept my mouth shut for the most part.
“When my oldest was in seventh grade, she was in a gym class with most of the other seventh- and eighth-grade girls. The main coach was out that day, leaving only an assistant male coach there. While the girls were running laps, one of them noticed that this coach had his phone propped up, videoing them. Several of the girls knew this was not right and called their parents. Some of the parents called the school and some parents notified the sheriff’s department, who showed up to investigate. Mrs. Snider was very upset by this and called all of the seventh- and eighth-grade girls into the library. In my daughter’s words: ‘She proceeded to yell at us for calling our parents and basically told us that the coach had not done anything wrong,’ and ‘we all had to write statements after she bullied us into thinking we had no right to speak up about an adult male video-recording his female students.’ Mrs. Snider called them into the library two times, and each time she ‘bullied’ them. She was also the one who picked up the statements from the girls.”
Snider created a culture of keeping students silent, said Cleveland, as students should have the right to call parents and voice concerns without getting in trouble.
“They should have been able to count on their principal to listen to their concerns and make sure they were protected, rather than ‘bullying’ them and treating them as if they were in the wrong,” she added. “She had just sent them a very strong message to keep their mouth shut!”
There are many more stories like these coming out of Neches ISD, and Texas Scorecard will continue to shed light on them. There is a question about how widespread the issue of administrative abuse is.
If others in Texas are dealing with abuse from school boards or administrators and are willing to share their stories, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.