Education News

Attorney Files Federal Complaints Over Reassignment of Longtime HISD Principal

After the controversial reassignment of Furr HISD Principal Bertie Simmons, federal complaints have been filed against the school district asking for Simmons to be reinstated.

Attorney Scott Newar speaking on the reassignment of Bertie Simmons.

Attorney Scott Newar has filed two federal complaints against HISD, saying its reassignment of longtime principal Bertie Simmons violates her civil rights.

At a press conference downtown he argued the reassignment reveals age and race discrimination and believes it’s part of a pattern to replace white principals like Simmons on the east side with Latino leaders.
Newar had asked for Simmons to be reinstated at Furr high school this week.

Attorney Scott Newar speaking on the reassignment of Bertie Simmons.

Instead the district has expanded its investigation into other areas like general administration and grade changes. What’s more he says several other employees including an IT specialist, a program manager and police officer have been summarily Transferred or told not to report to campus.

“HISD has an obligation to investigate when there have been allegations of misconduct. Dr. Bertie Simmons has been temporarily reassigned while HISD investigates the allegations. HISD will respond to the EEOC and the Department of Justice complaints filed on behalf of Dr. Simmons, and denies any allegations of a pattern and practice of discriminatory treatment against employees,” said HISD in a statement.

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Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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