DUBLIN (April 9, 2015) – Parents of a senior at Dublin Secondary School have filed a request for temporary injunction with the Erath County District Court (266th Judicial District) that would prevent the Dublin ISD from issuing class rankings until the family receives a fair hearing on a matter which now threatens their daughter’s Senior Class Rank.
According to attorney Susan Soto, who has been retained to represent the student and her parents against the Dublin ISD, the Dublin ISD Board of Trustees, and Dr. Rodney Schneider, Superintendent of the Dublin ISD, the school district improperly managed the academic reports of Cheyenne Holt during the 2012-2013 school year, when she was a student at Dublin Secondary School. The Holts did not receive report cards on Cheyenne’s academic progress for two consecutive grading periods during the fall semester of the 2012-2013 school year. The Texas Education Code requires school districts to give written notice to parents of students’ academic performance at least once every 12 weeks.
The girl’s parents have been trying to resolve the issue through the school district’s grievance procedures for two years, as the DISD continues to drag its feet. The Holts seek an injunction to stop DISD officials from calculating and announcing class rank, valedictorian and salutatorian for the 2015 Senior Class at Dublin’s Secondary School until an order in the matter issued by the Texas Commissioner of Education on January 16, 2015 has been complied with, and the Holts have been afforded full and complete due process through grievance proceedings.
To date, the school district is unwilling to address the Holts’ concerns regarding the school district’s grading and grade reporting policies. The parents brought their concerns forward to DISD staff in early 2013 after discovering Cheyenne’s class rank was lower than expected. During a subsequent meeting with the principal of Dublin Secondary School, the Holts were advised that he would not be able assist them further and he recommended they file a formal grievance pursuant to local policy. The family filed a series of formal grievances and appeals throughout 2013 and 2014, only to be told that their complaint was dismissed as “untimely”, prompting them to appeal the DISD Board of Trustees’ decision to the Commissioner of Education.
Soto said, “School district personnel have an ethical and legal obligation to ensure that student achievement records are accurate and that families’ concerns are addressed appropriately. In the weeks since the Commissioner of Education’s remand of the matter back to Dublin ISD, the DISD has failed to comply and to hear the Holts’ original grievance on its merits.”
Soto is a former public school teacher and principal and represents Texas students and their parents in school law matters. She said that the time is long overdue for school districts in Texas to take responsibility for their actions and decisions. “The school district did not address the family’s concerns appropriately when the family brought their concerns forward on multiple occasions, and it continues to turn a blind eye,” Soto said. “With the epidemic of school district errors coming to light, the era of school districts being beyond question must end.”
“Educators make mistakes like everyone else,” said Soto, “but the key is to admit the mistake, offer solutions and work to regain trust. Dublin ISD is failing the Holt family in this regard. The failure of the Dublin ISD administration to address the incident has led the family to address the issue in the judicial system. School districts and their employees must be held accountable for their actions, particularly when it comes to academic achievement and class rank.”