Frisco ISD Board of Trustees President Rene Archambault has addressed State Rep. Matt Shaheen's request to the Texas Education Agency requesting an investigation into a meeting between three members of the Frisco ISD board and parents in November 2022.
On Monday, March 13, Rep. Matt Shaheen (R-Plano) announced that he has requested the Texas Education Agency (TEA) launch a formal investigation into Frisco ISD school board members Renee Archambault, Dynette Davis and Debbie Gillespie.
In Shaheen's statement, it states the release of a recent audio recording in the Gateway Pundit, seems to depict the three trustees hosting an "illicit meeting" about delaying the placement of an important item on a board agenda in an effort to silence parents.
Shaheen stated, “I have grave concerns about the trustee’s conduct and the serious nature of this meeting. The trustees' commentary in the recording demonstrates a complete lack of concern for parental concerns and seems to violate Frisco ISD’s Board Operating Procedures and Texas Association of School Boards (“TASB”) Ethics for School Board Members.”
On a Facebook post made on her board trustee page, Archambault released the following statement:
"In response to Representative Shaheen’s letter sent to TEA requesting an investigation into a meeting that I and two other trustees attended with concerned parents in November, we feel it is important to clear the air and provide the full story. We are confused by Representative Shaheen’s characterization of the meeting as “illicit,” as we hope he too regularly meets with concerned constituents.
"The meeting took place after the Board voted unanimously to adopt a policy related to bathroom use for students. A group of parents and community members requested the meeting to discuss their concerns, the lack of decorum in Board meetings, and the choices of two of our Board members to focus on politics instead of students.
"In that meeting, parents asked why two trustees were allowed to repeatedly place the same divisive topic on our agenda, and we explained that Board Operating Procedures allow any two trustees to place any topic on an agenda. Since the exact topic the parents were concerned about had already been discussed and voted on at two regular Board meetings, I explained that future discussions would be held in special meetings to ensure the Board can effectively conduct its business of improving student’s educational experiences instead of rehashing already discussed and addressed topics.
"Although one trustee first brought this topic up in July, we received the official requests in August, without a proposed policy or request for a vote. As a result, and because our attorneys advised us to wait to adopt a policy until the new Title IX rules were finalized, the Board discussed the item at the September Board meeting but did not vote, though many parents on both sides of the issue provided input. A few days before the September Board meeting, the same trustees requested a vote on a new policy. Board Operating Procedures require new policy to be drafted with our attorneys and reviewed by the policy subcommittee, which includes one of the requesting trustees. That work takes time, so the Board voted on the policy in November, once again receiving significant parent input.
"When I said I 'pushed' the vote until November, I was referring to acting on the advice of our attorneys and enforcing Board Operating Procedures which are designed to keep the Board from haphazardly voting on every hot button topic without careful consideration.
"There is nothing illicit about Trustees meeting with parents in a public location to discuss their concerns. We hope all Trustees take the time to do so. There is also nothing illicit about me, the Board President, describing the workings of Board Operating Procedures to parents who had questions. The full 51 minute recording of the meeting is linked below, and we encourage anyone with concerns to listen to the whole meeting.
"We remain committed to conducting board business ethically and in the best interest of our students, parents and staff. Please reach out to us directly if you have questions, concerns, or would like to meet."
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Rick Rogers is the president & publisher of Star Local Media and its 14 print and digital local media publications. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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