RELEASE (Oct. 21, 2021): School Board Threatens To Limit Parent, Taxpayer Access At Thursday Trustees Meeting While Athletic, Band Activities Continue Unhindered
A wide coalition of Round Rock ISD parents, taxpayers, and community organizations is scheduled to host a press conference at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21, in front of Round Rock High School, Bldg. 100.
The conference was called after Round Rock ISD Superintendent Dr. Hafedh Azaiez announced earlier this week the district would restrict the number of seats available for members of the public who plan on attending the Thursday, Oct. 21, school board meeting.
This comes on top of a months-long saga involving investigations of sexual impropriety by the superintendent, the RRISD limiting access to several public meetings, the removal, arrest, and incarceration of district residents protesting those limitations, and the attempted censure of two RRISD trustees for exercising their free speech rights.
Scheduled speakers at the press conference include:
Michelle Evans, Round Rock ISD Lead for Moms for Liberty of Williamson County, Texas;
Dustin Clark of the RRISD Parent Coalition
Jeremy Story, Co-Director of True Texas Project – Williamson County chapter
Don Zimmerman of Travis County Taxpayers Union and former Austin City Council member
Marcia Watson of Williamson County We Thee People
Emma Ray of Round Rock High School
The following statement may be attributed to Michelle Evans of Moms for Liberty of Williamson County:
“This move to limit seating when there is ample room in other RRISD facilities can only be interpreted as an attempt to usurp the right of concerned parents to freely petition their elected Board of Trustees, and ultimately hold District Administration accountable for questionable policies.
“Despite the fact that football games, band rehearsals, and other district-sponsored events have not involved the use of sanctioned social distancing practices, Azaiez insists that maintaining three feet of distance between board meeting attendees is crucial and ‘in line with current health guidance, particularly because not all of our attendees wear masks.’ However, on Monday, he and Board President Amy Weir facilitated a Board Student Outcome Goals Forum with 20 or more parents, half of whom did not wear masks. During this event, Azaiez and Weir both interacted with participants, coming within inches of their unmasked faces and sharing a single microphone among them.
“What makes this even more concerning is that Azaiez has also tasked district police officers with maintaining ‘order.’ At a Sept. 14 school board meeting, these officers used their bodies to block entry, caused injury to a parent, were ordered to physically remove a student who was sitting quietly on the floor, and restrained a father to forcibly remove him from the meeting, at the behest of Azaiez and Weir. These actions are in violation of laws that restrict district police from enforcing administrative policy, and are an imminent threat to the public.
“Parents and other stakeholders are entitled to open government, per the Texas Open Meetings Act, and parents are guaranteed complete physical access to all school board meetings by Texas Education Code. Our community cannot continue to tolerate lawlessness and abuses of power by District Administration.”