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Fort Bend Teachers Say District Violated State Law

The school district’s policy is consistent with state law but the teachers allege it’s not being enforced


The Fort Bend Employee Federation is protesting what they say is a lack of disciplinary enforcement at Fort Bend ISD. The group said two students aged seven and eight attempted to hit other students and assaulted teachers as they were removed.

State law requires that children who commit assault be placed in a Disciplinary Alternative Education Program. The school district's policy is consistent with state law but the teachers allege it's not being enforced. Instead, they say, the students were placed in different classrooms.

The union said this is just one in several cases where the district hasn't enforced its policies, but the teachers are choosing this particular case to bring before the school board. “This is the focus of the work that we're gonna be doing,” said Karrie Washenfelder, president of the Fort Bend Employee Federation, “but it is endemic throughout the district."

Fort Bend ISD issued the following statement to Houston Public Media:

Under state and federal laws, Fort Bend ISD is prohibited from releasing information regarding disciplinary incidents and actions involving students. However, it is important that our community understand that we take every effort to ensure student and staff safety, and follow all appropriate processes and protocols to ensure compliance with the Student Code of Conduct and more importantly, the law.

We value our teachers and the work they do each and every day to help lead students to success. Their safety and the safety of our students is our utmost priority, and anytime there is a disciplinary issue that is brought to the attention of our administrators, we are committed to doing our due diligence to investigate and act accordingly.

We also have processes in place for our staff members to report any concerns, and we will take appropriate steps to address their concerns through that process.

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