Teachers Banned From Wilson ISD Graduation Threaten Legal Action

Published 04/02 2014 01:22PM

Updated 04/02 2014 06:20PM

By James Clark and Victoria Price

LUBBOCK, TX -- Two Wilson ISD teachers currently on paid leave hinted Wednesday morning at a possible lawsuit against the school district. Patricia Johnson and Michelle Story appeared before local media in the office of attorney Kevin Glasheen.

Glasheen said, “We want the Wilson school district to reinstate them to their teaching positions.”

He also said, “We want them to drop the ban for these ladies being on campus and attending school events.” If the answer is ‘no’ Glasheen said going to court would be possible.

EverythingLubbock.com acquired an email last week showing that Story was forbidden from attending school activities including the graduation of her daughter. The Wilson ISD later said that attending graduation might be possible.

Protesters and community activists in Wilson say the ongoing controversy cost six teachers their jobs, not just Johnson and Story.   The other four will remain with the district through the completion of the school year.  Wilson ISD has only said the teachers caused “a significant disruption to the educational environment,” but no further details have been released concerning specific allegations of wrongdoing.

Glasheen said, “We feel like both of these ladies were fired for speaking up, and raising concerns about the school principal and that violates their First Amendment rights.”

“We also believe they were banned from campus in retaliation for refusing to resign,” he said.

Glasheen accused Wilson ISD of not giving an adequate explanation. Both Johnson and Story fought back tears as they spoke.

Story said, “It was a whirlwind. I was called in Monday morning [March 11] before school started and read a statement that I was going to be recommended for non-renewal. And I had until 4:00 pm Tuesday to turn in my resignation letter.”

She did not resign and on Wednesday, March 12 she was told to leave the school grounds and not come back without written permission.

Story fears she will not be allowed to see her daughter graduate. Johnson said her son is a special needs student and he will also graduate from Wilson ISD this year.

Johnson said, “I have fought for him. I have done everything in my power to get him where he is today, to support him and to see him graduate. And they’re going to take that from me. That’s not fair.”

Wilson ISD issued a statement Tuesday saying no one was asked to resign.

Related Story: Wilson ISD Says No Grievances Filed After Big Controversy
Related Story: Fmr. Teacher, Mother of Valedictorian Banned from Wilson Graduation

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