A local school district is working with authorities to fight criminal organizations from influencing their youth. Students from La Joya Independent School District were being recruited in bulk a couple years ago to smuggle people who were in the country illegally for a few hundred dollars. “Throughout the Valley, we were having to fight human smuggling organizations and the drug cartel organizations. I guess they thought that teenagers, you know, if they get caught there’s really not going to be any serious consequences,” La Joya ISD Police Chief Raul Gonzalez said. “These kids were being recruited for the sole purpose of getting money, you know, you give a kid $500, $1,000, how can you say no to that.” view article arw

A student has been arrested for assault following a fight that hospitalized a Lee High School student on Thursday afternoon. Midland I.S.D. said the fight took place in a restroom at the school just before the school dismissed for the day. The badly bruised student was found near the restroom by campus administrators. Administrators said the student required immediate attention from campus nursing staff until the student was taken to the hospital by EMS. view article arw

 A former administrator with the Garland Independent School District has admitted he received kickbacks and other benefits by falsifying immigration documents so that teachers from Latin America and elsewhere could work in his district. Sixty-three-year-old Victor Leos pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to conspiracy to commit false statements on immigration documents. view article arw

Former Garland ISD human resources director Victor Leos appeared in federal court Tuesday and told a judge that he is guilty in a scheme to abuse work visas to recruit hundreds of teachers.  Leos, 63, has admitted to receiving kickbacks, travel and other benefitswhile using H-1B visas to attract bilingual teachers from Mexico, Central and South America and the Philippines. Leos agreed to prosecutors' claims that from about 2007 to 2012, he recruited and hired foreign teachers that Garland ISD did not necessarily need.  Leos' attorney, Robert H. Rogers of Dallas, released a statement on his client's behalf after the arraignment hearing. view article arw

LIVINGSTON - The Livingston Independent School District is asking the University Interscholastic League to rescind the sanction and probationary status that was placed on the school district back in March of 2016.  Livingston ISD has also asked the UIL to “issue clarification to the alternative education enrollment guidelines.”  The UIL ultimately moved Livingston into District 22-5A and disrupted the schedules for many schools from Southeast Texas, as they were required to make the 1.5 hour bus ride to Livingston for district games. view article arw

Allyson Talbott filed suit Monday against Rogers Independent School District as part of an ongoing dispute over how the district awards valedictorian and salutatorian status. Talbott, a graduating senior at Rogers High School, originally protested the school’s class rankings because she had been denied valedictorian status owing to a clerical error in her dual credit classes at Temple College. view article arw

Updated at 5 p.m. with a new order from the Western District Court of Texas and comment from Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas.  WASHINGTON — In striking down North Carolina’s congressional district map, the Supreme Court sent Texas a firm warning Monday about how the state’s case may fare if it reaches that stage.  Hours after the ruling, the federal district court in San Antonio currently overseeing the Texas case issued an order to the relevant parties asking them to submit briefs detailing how the North Carolina ruling will affect their claims, with a deadline of June 6. view article arw

The family of a Rogers High School senior is filing for a temporary restraining order against the school district to prevent them from announcing the class valedictorian and salutatorian. Allyson Talbott was denied valedictorian by a slim margin after a clerical error by Temple College that resulted in a dual credit grade being incorrectly provided to her high school. Rogers ISD admitted that when Talbott's correct midterm grade was accounted for, she would have been the high school valedictorian. However, despite knowing that, the district chose not to award her the position. view article arw

AUSTIN — Transgender public school students will not be barred from restrooms that match their gender identity under a new version of the "bathroom bill" the Texas House approved late Sunday, multiple sources told The Dallas Morning News.  Senate Bill 2078 would require schools to provide a private bathroom for public school students who do not want to use the multi-occupancy restroom that matches the biological sex on their birth certificates. But the bill would not require transgender kids to use that single-stall bathroom if they don't want to, two education groups and multiple lawmakers familiar with the legislation told The News.  view article arw

12News has learned High Island ISD Superintendent Dr. D'Ann Vonderau has been placed on administrative leave with pay following an emergency meeting to discuss a gun found by students in a school van. view article arw

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against Irving ISD and the city of Irving by Ahmed Mohamed's family, according to Dallas Morning News. Ahmed made headlines when he was 14 years old and made a clock in school that was mistaken for a bomb in 2015. His family stated that his civil rights were violated when he was arrested at MacArthur High School and charged with making a "hoax bomb." The charge was later dropped, but he was still suspended. view article arw

A couple are suing Irving ISD, claiming their 9-year-old son has been the target of racial and religious taunts for years at his elementary school. Marie and Iqbal Bhombal filed a federal lawsuit with the U.S. District Court in North Texas on May 11. The suit cites incidents in which the couple claims their son was unfairly targeted at John Haley Elementary School for being half-Indian and a practicing Muslim.  "You see this happen to other people, so finally when it happens to you, I mean, then it hits you in the gut," Iqbal Bhombal told WFAA-TV (Channel 8). "I hope something good comes out of all of this." view article arw

 Before heading into an event honoring teachers and dedicated staff members, the Austin Independent School District superintendent addressed the media Tuesday evening about the allegations at Boone Elementary School and what is being done when it comes to student safety. Superintendent Dr. Paul Cruz announced details for a new required employee training, as part of the district’s student safety initiative. view article arw

AUSTIN - A heated legislative hearing on the future of Dallas County Schools stretched long into the evening Tuesday as the agency's officials once again tried to fend off attempts to close it down. But that job got harder this week after reports that the bus service provider entered into a land deal in which DCS sold property it owned only to lease it back. KXAS-TV (NBC5) reported the real estate transaction saying it put taxpayers on the hook for millions over the next two decades and benefitted those who already had ties to other questionable dealings with the agency.  Interim DCS superintendent Leatha Mullins maintained that the agency should be reprieved as new leadership is in place with turnaround efforts including various reviews of finances and business dealings. view article arw

The Gainesville Independent School District responded Tuesday to reports of an ongoing embezzlement investigation by the Gainesville Police Department.  “On Monday, May 15, 2017, local news stations in Sherman and Denison did a story on an investigation into possible embezzlement of funds in the UIL Region II Music Committee,” according to a post on the district’s Facebook page. “Gainesville ISD nor any employee of GISD is in any way connected to the charges indicated in this investigation.” view article arw

Marie and Iqbal Bhombal are sitting in their attorney’s office. Their two children, a boy and a girl, are playing quietly nearby. They are here because they said it’s been tough for their 9-year-old son. The Muslim parents believe their biracial son has been the target of racial and religious taunts in school and that it’s gone on for years. Now the family has filed a federal lawsuit against Irving Independent School District. view article arw

A Rio Grande Valley school district has suspended their police chief pending the results of an internal investigation into their police department. Donna ISD Police Chief Roy Padilla was suspended with pay. CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke with attorney Alyssa Romero, who represents the district. She said the district will be conducting the investigation on their own. view article arw

The Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE) and other parties to a lawsuit over the state’s new recommended teacher appraisal system known as T-TESS have reached a settlement agreement. ATPE sued the state in April 2016 alleging that new commissioner’s rules to implement T-TESS violated state laws and were against public policy. Through the Office of the Attorney General, which represented the Texas Education Agency in the lawsuit, Commissioner of Education Mike Morath has agreed to revise the rules in exchange for the four teacher groups’ suspending their legal challenges. view article arw

Not Texas I just did not know the term "catfishing" - js - MEDIA, PA (KYW/CNN) - A high school senior is accused of impersonating a teenage girl to get male students to send him compromising pictures of them.  Felony charges were announced Thursday against 18-year-old Derrick Jones.  Those charges included possession of child pornography, harassment and stalking.  Authorities said Jones used stolen photos of a real teen to pose as a girl online to get explicit photos and videos from other teens. view article arw

Several former and current staff members at La Vernia Independent School District have asked to be removed from a lawsuit filed by the parents of a former student. The school’s principal and several former and current members of the athletic department claim in a motion that the victim’s parents lack standing to sue them and say the claims are redundant since the district is already being sued. view article arw

La Vernia Independent School District, the superintendent and several former and current employees filed motions Monday to dismiss a federal lawsuit filed by the parents of a student who was allegedly sexually assaulted by football teammates. The parents filed the lawsuit in April, after the arrests of 13 La Vernia High School students on charges of sexual assault. The suit claims that a student who was a freshman in fall 2015 was repeatedly subjected to sexual assaults, bullying and hazing at the hands of football teammates over a period of three years. It alleges the assaults were a result of a systemic “rape culture” and “sadistic hazing rituals” within the school’s football program dating back at least a decade. view article arw

SAN ANGELO, TX — Wall ISD was scammed out of $45,472, according to an ongoing Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office investigation that began May 1.  According to the sheriff investigator’s initial report, Superintendent Russell Dacy took a few days off from work due to an illness in late April. While away, the district’s business manager, Charlotte Weishuhn, on April 20, received an email from the superintendent, who was still ailing at home, asking her to wire transfer from the district’s bank account the amount of $16,224 to a “Joanne Golanski.” Weishuhn complied. view article arw

In response to errors that twice sent a Brackenridge Elementary School second-grader who’s allergic to cinnamon to the emergency room, the San Antonio Independent School District’s nutrition department will recommend to trustees tonight that teachers who distribute breakfast in the classroom use software alerting them when students need special meals. view article arw

A former Hudson kindergarten teacher already charged with having sex with four high school students now faces eight new criminal charges, according to Angelina County Jail records. Heather Lee Robertson, 38, of Lufkin, now faces six charges of second-degree improper relationship between educator and student and six charges of second-degree sexual assault of a child. Two of the improper relationship and all six sexual assault charges were filed on Thursday. view article arw

A former La Joya ISD school board trustee who resigned last month to focus on his upcoming trial pleaded guilty. Juan Jose “JJ” Garza pleaded guilty on Wednesday to federal wire fraud charges. view article arw

Texas educators will not be evaluated on the performance of their students on standardized tests, according to a lawsuit settlement announced Wednesday between teacher groups and Education Commissioner Mike Morath. The teachers groups, including the Texas State Teachers Association and the Texas chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, announced the settlement that will affect the implementation of the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System, or T-TESS, the now-recommended state evaluation system. view article arw

The Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA) announced today that Education Commissioner Mike Morath has agreed to drop a requirement that at least 20 percent of a teacher’s evaluation be based on value added measures (VAM) such as standardized test scores. TSTA sued the commissioner last year for including that provision in the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (TTESS), the new state-recommended teacher evaluation system.  In a negotiated settlement of the lawsuit, the amended evaluation system will allow individual school districts to determine how to measure the progress of a teacher’s students by “one or more student growth measures” of their own choosing. view article arw

The Texas Classroom Teachers Association and the three other major Texas teacher associations settled lawsuits with Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath through a joint settlement agreement filed May 3, 2017. "In a major victory for Texas teachers, the settlement will give school districts much greater flexibility in incorporating student performance in teacher appraisals as well as removing any reference to 'value added data' in both the commissioner-recommended appraisal system (T-TESS) and in locally adopted appraisal systems," said Lonnie F. Hollingsworth Jr., TCTA's general counsel. The four associations negotiated the settlement with the commissioner through the assistant attorneys general who were representing the commissioner in four separate lawsuits filed against the teacher appraisal rules adopted by the commissioner last year. view article arw

A hearing in federal court has not yet been set for the Title IX lawsuit filed Tuesday against AISD. The district along with AISD Police Chief Eric Mendez and Detective Alex Phillips are accused of being "deliberately indifferent" to known acts of teacher - student discrimination. It’s starting to look like a pattern is forming here,” said attorney Paul Guinn. Guinn represents a four-year-old Boone Elementary student and her parents. "Because of this stonewall that this family has run into unfortunately it has come to this." view article arw

A former Frenship ISD teacher who admitted inappropriate communication with a student is now facing a federal charge and an investigation by the Texas Education Agency. Kandi Phillips admitted to having inappropriate communication with a student in her resignation letter. The district questioned her back in March and she resigned later that afternoon. In that resignation letter, Phillips wrote, "I was in contact on multiple occasions with [the name of the student was redacted] via email and text messages. The communication began last semester. Many of the text messages were personal, inappropriate, and led into talk of the sexual nature. Never once was there any inappropriate physical contact with the student at or off school grounds." view article arw

Parents of a third-grader in Kentucky have sued a school district where authorities say a teacher physically dragged their autistic son out of class. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports (http://bit.ly/2p4PIQC ) the parents filed the lawsuit against a Georgetown teacher, principal, superintendent and school district. Listed as "W.E.W." and "B.W.", the plaintiffs allege former Garth Elementary School teacher Jayson Featherston and former principal Terry Quillen were negligent in caring for their child on Nov. 30. view article arw

The Denison Independent School District has settled a federal lawsuit filed against it last year. The parents of a special needs student at Denison High School filed a federal lawsuit last May alleging that a DHS employee manhandled their son while he was a student at the school and that the school had no system in place to protect the child from the employee. Lisa and Brian Sexton said their child was in a life skills class on Dec. 17, 2015 when Denison ISD employee Mark Mask placed the child in a choke hold, applied arm bars to the child, threw the child on the floor and then dropped a knee on the child’s back with unnecessary and excessive force, throwing the child on the floor while his hands were behind his back so he could not break his own fall.  view article arw

 The parents of a 4-year-old girl who say their daughter was sexually assaulted while at Boone Elementary School has filed a federal lawsuit against the Austin Independent School District, claiming the district and the district’s police department failed to “promptly and appropriately” investigate and respond to sexual assault accusations. The lawsuit, which was filed on Tuesday, says the lack of action by AISD resulted in a hostile education environment that violates Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. Title IX states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” view article arw

The parents of a four-year-old girl have filed a federal Title IX lawsuit against the Austin Independent School District. It involves an alleged sexual assault at Boone Elementary in early February. AISD only recently reopened the case after the girl's parents called the Travis County District Attorneys Office. The lawsuit claims AISD has "fostered an environment that substantially increased students' chances of being sexually assaulted." It also claims the teacher never contacted family, despite repeated requests and because AISD receives federal funding, ignoring the family's request for help is a Title IX violation to their daughter. view article arw

A letter instructing teachers at a Marshall, Texas elementary school to reapply for their jobs has been rescinded. Watch KSLA News 12 at 10 streaming live on KSLA.com and on the KSLA News 12 mobile apps. Marshall, Texas, ISD trustees met Monday evening to discuss a Level IV grievance filed by the Texas State Teachers Association, the agenda for the special meeting shows. The gathering was held at 5:30 p.m. in the Pat R. Smith-Gasperson Boardroom at 1305 E. Pinecrest Drive in Marshall. It was originally set to be open to the public. However, the TSTA asked that the hearing be held in closed session instead. view article arw