The Lone Star Review - State

San Marcos CISD Releases 2021-2022 Disciplinary Records After AG Decision

PLEASE NOTE: Nothing in this publishing or website should be taken as legal advice.

San Marcos CISD Releases 2021-2022 Disciplinary Records After AG Decision

A request for opinion by the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) to the Texas Attorney General’s Office, lead to the requirement to release certain disciplinary action records.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office issued a ruling on the release of the records. Part of the ruling is included for public information and to show the public has a right to know how government employees are conducting themselves. Part of the ruling is here:

Upon review, we agree some of the submitted information consists of evaluations of a teacher or administrator by the district. You state the teachers and administrators at issue held the appropriate certificates for the purpose of section 21.355 and were acting as teachers oradministrators at the time the evaluations were prepared.

Accordingly, the district must withhold the information we marked under section 552.101 in conjunction with section 21.355.1 However, we find the remaining information does not consist of a document evaluating the performance of a teacher for the purposes of section 21.355. Thus, the district may not withhold the remaining information under section 552.101 on that basis.

Section 552.101 of the Government Code also encompasses the doctrine of common-law privacy, which protects information that is (1) highly intimate or embarrassing, the publication of which would be highly objectionable to a reasonable person, and (2) not of legitimate concern to the public. Indus. Found. v. Tex. Indus. Accident Bd., 540 S.W.2d 668, 685 (Tex. 1976).

To demonstrate the applicability of common-law privacy, both prongs of this test must be satisfied.Id. at 681-82. Types of information considered intimate or embarrassing by the Texas Supreme Court are delineated in Industrial Foundation. Id. at 683. We note the public generally has a legitimate interest in information relating to the resignation or termination of a public employee. See Open Records Decision Nos. 444 at 5 (1986) (public has legitimate interest in knowing reasons for public employee’s dismissal, demotion, or promotion), 329 (1982) (reasons for employee’s resignation ordinarily not private).

Furthermore, this office has noted the public has a legitimate interest in information that relates to public employees and their conduct in the workplace. See, e.g., Open Records Decision Nos. 562 at 10 (1990) (personnel file information does not involve most intimate aspects of human affairs but in fact touches on matters of legitimate public concern), 470 at 4 (1987) (job performance does not generally constitute public employee’s private affairs), 444 at 3 (public has obvious interest in information concerning qualifications and performance of government employees), 405 at 2 (1983) (manner in which public employee’s job was performed cannot be said to be of minimal public interest).

Upon review, we find you have, failed to demonstrate the remaining information is highly intimate or embarrassing and not of legitimate public concern. Therefore, the district may not withhold theremainfog information under section 552.101 on that basis.

Texas Attorney General OR2023-00364

Employee Separated for Contacting Students on Social Media

[On] December 8, 2020, David Montana, Associate Director of Transportation became aware of a concern after speaking to a Greater San Marcos Youth Council staff member. This staff member came forth regarding a situation where it was documented that [John Paul Vasquez, Transportation Bus Driver was] Facebook messaging two district students. The messages are considered inappropriate and the time communication took place is also alarming. As [Vasquez knows] it is unacceptable for district employees to contact students on any platform that is not district approved. Following this concern [Vasquez] provided a statement on 12/08/2020 regarding this concern. [He] explained that [his] son had made contact with a student and used [his] phone. In an effort to complete a fact-finding investigation screenshots of the conversations were reviewed. It is evident that the profile name John Paul Vasquez, has multiple instant messages with both students, and a few of the conversations occur at 9pm and 10pm.

Mr. Vasquez’s behavior does not meet the district standards, therefore [the school district] separat[ed] employment effective immediately.

Summary of Concern, Dated December 9, 2020, from Stephanie Munoz, Human Resources Executive Director.

Teacher/Coach Arrested for Driving While Intoxicated

[Kurtis Kloiber] informed [the ASHR on August 20, 2021] that [he was arrested early [that] morning. As [he] indicated in [his] staff incident report, [he was] arrested for driving while intoxicated early [that] morning. An investigation of this information was conducted and [the ASHR] confirmed that [he] in fact [was] arrested. Be advised that [Kurtis Kloiber has] violated the Educator’s Code of Ethics.

Untitled Letter, Dated August 20, 2021, from the ASHR

Court records indicate Mr. Kloiber was arrested by the San Marcos Police Department. He was released on a $3,000 Personal Recognizance (PR) Bond.

The case is currently filed by the Hays County District Attorney’s Office in County Court at Law 1, under cause 21-3014CR-1. An announcement is scheduled for February 14, 2023.

Teacher/Coach Arrested for Driving While Intoxicated

As [Michael Martinez is] aware, [has was] on Administrative leave due to an allegation that [he was] arrested for driving while intoxicated. An investigation of this allegation was conducted by Marcy Baez, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. [Martinez] informed Marcy Baez of [his] arrest 01/19/21. Be informed that the investigation was completed and that the investigator concluded that the allegation was Confirmed.

Untitled Letter, Dated January 22, 2021, from the ASHR

Teacher Arrested for Driving While Intoxicated

[Savanna Perez] informed {Stephanie Munoz, Executive Director of Human Resources (EDHR)] on November 22, 2021 that [she was] arrested. As [she] indicated in [her] staff incident report, [she was] arrested for a warrant due to driving while intoxicated on a prior date. An investigation of this information was conducted and [Munoz] confirmed that [Perez] in fact [was] arrested. Be advised that [Perez has] violated the Educator’s Code of Ethics

Untitled Letter, Dated December 16, 2021, from Stephanie Munoz EDHR

Employee Uses District Credit Card at Local Bar

[Adam Ramirez met with Dr. Marcy Baez, Chief Human Resource Officer on], March 2, 2022 to discuss an allegation of the possession and misuse of a district assigned credit card. As per [that] conversation, a thorough investigation was conducted. During this review, it was confirmed that [Ramirez] in fact used Denisha Presley’s district issued credit card at Nephews Night Club the evening of February 26, 2022

[Ramirez] explained that [he was] in possession of the credit card [that] Friday to make a school purchase for an event and inadvertently gave the bartender the wrong card while making a purchase at Nephews. When [he] realized the mistake, [he] returned to the establishment and had them credit the charge and re-charge [his] personal card.

Untitled Letter, Dated March 3, 2022, from Dr. Marcy Baez, Chief Human Resource Officer

Teacher Resigns During Administrative Inquiry

As [Charles Sears was] aware, [he] were placed on administrative leave October 14, 2021 pending an investigation of allegations of unprofessional conduct.

[He] submitted a resignation form effective October 20, 2021, thus [Marcy Baez made Sears] aware that the investigation is still being conducted. Be advised that if a child was harmed and the results warrant a report to TEA it will be filed accordingly.

Untitled Letter, Dated October 20, 2021, Dr. Marcy Baez, Chief Human Resource Officer

Teacher Investigated for Harassment

[I]t was alleged that [Alexander Stein] made unwanted advancements toward a coworker. Much of the unwanted communication occurred via snapchat.

An investigation of these allegations was conducted and completed. There were several instances of unwanted communication via social media that the employee who brought forth the concerns referenced and was uncomfortable with.

[Stein] confirmed that [he] called the employee pretty and said: ”maybe we should go out some time’\ [Stein] stated that [he] [did] not recall instances in which she said “no” and noticed that she was non-responsive thus acknowledged that she was uninterested in pursuing a relationship outside the work relationship. Be advised that there were several instances in which the employee stated that she was uninterested in your advances and/or pursuing a relationship outside of the workforce with [Stein].

Untitled Letter, Dated May 27, 2021, No Signature Block

Teacher’s Cheer Coach Duties Terminated

Due to incidents involving several of [Kathryn Upton’s] student athletes during the fall semester, San Marcos CISD received numerous parental complaints. The allegations and complaints have been reviewed and it has been determined that incidences of unprofessional conduct are substantiated. Therefore, the purpose of this letter is to inform [Upton] that, effective immediately [January 22, 2021], [she is] being terminated from [her] cheer coach duties. [Her] pay will not be affected, nor will [her] teaching position at San Marcos High School

Untitled Letter, Dated January 22, 2021, from Dr. Marcy Baez, Chief Human Resources Officer

Associate Director of Transportation Was Put on Administrative Leave Over Allegations of Unprofessional Conduct

As provided in San Marcos CISD Board Policy, [David Montana was] placed on administrative leave with pay effective [ ]April 22, 2021 pending an investigation of allegations that [he] displayed unprofessional conduct with colleagues.

Untitled Letter, Dated April 22, 2021, from the ASHR)

Instructional Aid Separated Over Social Media

[On], March 12, 2021, [Melissa Brister, Instructional Assistant Crockett Elementary] met with [the Assistant Superintended Human Resources (ASHR)] to discuss a post [Brister] made on a social media platform. The post made reference to [Brister] serving as a District employee, in violation of San Marcos CISD Board Policy.

In discussing the post [Brister] made on a social media platform, [Brister and ASHR] reviewed the Employee Handbook and San Marcos CISD Board Policies DH (Local) and DH (Exhibit).

In accordance with San Marcos CISD Board Policy, either party may terminate an at will employment relationship, for any reason or no reason, so long as it is not an illegal reason such as race, sex, or age discrimination.

Please be advised that we are sepru·ating employment effective immediately. Your last paid work day is today, March 12, 2021, and your benefits will terminate March 31, 2021.

Summary of Concern, dated March 12, 2021, Marcy Baez, ASHR

San Marcos CISD Takes No Action on Employee’s Grievance Appeal

On May 17, 2021, at a Regular Board meeting, the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees considered [Jessica Favella’s] Level Three DGBA grievance appeal, which was filed on March 10, 2021. The Board of Trustees voted unanimously (7-0) to take no action regarding [Favella’s] appeal. Pursuant to SMCISD Board Policy DGBA (Local), the Board of Trustees’ decision upholds the administrative decision at Level Two.

RE: May 17, 2021 Level Three Board Appeal Hearing, Michael Cardona, Superintendent of Schools

Substitute Teacher Separated for Letting Student Sleep

As [Cassie Martin is] aware, Human Resources conducted an investigation into allegations that [she] left a student in the classroom asleep during dismissal Friday, September 24, 2021.

During the interview Monday, September 27, 2021 [she] stated that [she] watched the student line up against the wall with the other walkers. [She] further stated that [she] recalled [the student] walking out and that [student] had a distinct sparkle glitter backpack. [Martin] then walked the bus riders to the buses for dismissal.

The investigation was completed and the investigator concluded the following:

  • The student was indeed left in classroom unattended and was found asleep by two different staff members both provided incident reports to support this. Video footage also supports this allegation that the student was left unattended and found in the classroom asleep.

As such [Martin] violated Standard 3.2 and 3.3 of the Ethical Conduct towards Students, 3.2 The educator shall not intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly treat a student or minor in a manner that adversely affects or endangers the learning, physical health, mental health. or safety of the student or minor.3.3 The educator shall not intentionally, Ja101-11ingly. or recklessly misrepresentfacts regarding a student.

[School District took] action and terminat[ed Martin’s] employment effective [September 29, 2021] based on confirmed incident reports and video footage of [Martin’s] actions not meeting district standards.

Untitled Letter, Dated September 29, 2021, from Stephanie Munoz, Executive Director of Human Resources (EDHR)

A Couple of Our Other Reads

You may be interested in learning about the low disciplinary action levels of the Kyle Police Department

Or you may find our publishing on a resignation by the Kyle City Manger over allegations of harassment, of interest.

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