Three incumbent members of the La Vernia Independent School Board lost their seats during the May 6, 2017 local election after the high school boy’s athletic sexual assault and hazing scandal of recent months.
The Official Canvass of the election will be conducted at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 11, 2017 at the LVISD Central Office, but the Unofficial Tabulation results are:
|Janette Chall (I)||224|
|John B. Bilicek||196|
|Susan Reinhard (I)||299|
|Harvey B. Clark||177|
|Cody Miller (I)||185|
Law enforcement inquiries and discoveries rocked the small town of 1,250, just 30 minutes southeast of San Antonio, with the arrest of 13 students charged with sexual assault against more than 25 victims. Six adult students and seven juvenile classmates have been charged in the sex scandal involving the boy’s athletic program at the school.
La Vernia ISD Superintendent Dr. Jose Moreno, on May 1, 2007 said that “by the end of the week we will launch a new method to report bullying – harassment – acts of violence – and other unsafe behaviors called listen to my voice. We now have a La Vernia police officer assigned to the school full time.”
Moreno also stated that the school district have the okay from the Texas Rangers to conduct an internal investigation into the allegations to determine if coaches knew of the attacks.
“We’ll start our investigation to find out if there’s any information that is still lacking as well as with any employees within our school district to ensure that there was proper notification if there was any idea that this was going on,” he said.
During a recent La Vernia ISD board meeting parent Stephen McNeil addressed the board members, telling them they have “done little to acknowledge or address the issue – for over a month you could not even bring yourselves to say the words “alleged sexual assault – to the victims this means you do not believe the accusations and are just protecting the perpetrators – the ISD administration and the board.”
Parents and citizens of La Vernia, Texas have been contacting the Texas Education Agency regarding concerns with the school district and high school sex scandal.
On April 10, 2017 one mother from La Vernia informed NEWS LEGIT that she “emailed the OAG of Texas (Office of Attorney General) asking how we as parents can file complaints against the school district to voice our concerns…It’s beginning to sound like a typical pass it around till people get tired of complaining and ignored as usual. Don’t go to anyone associated with LVISD Administration or Superintendent. It’s not worth it. They won’t do anything about it. I worked at the school district off and on since xxxx as a xxxx. It’s pathetic how things are handled or not. They even ignore their employees unless you are part of the click then you get whatever you want. Drain the Swamp and clean out LV…Please don’t forward my name on. If anyone finds out my poor xxxx will pay the price. Too bad I’m not on the school board, a teacher, or and admin person. Then xxxx would be protected.”
A letter to this mother stated:
“Dear Ms. xxxx:
Thank you for your recent email. We appreciate your contacting the Office of the Attorney General of Texas.
Please understand the role of this office is to advise and represent state agencies, entities and interests as specified in the Texas Government Code. However, I hope the following referral is helpful.
Complaints regarding a school district’s policies and procedures should be initiated and addressed to the local superintendent and school board. If you should have questions about filing a complaint with a local school district, you may contact the Texas Education Agency (TEA). You can reach TEA’s Office of General Inquiry as follows:
Texas Education Agency
Office of General Inquiry
1701 N. Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701
Again, thank you for writing, and please let us know if we may be of assistance in the future.
Constituent Affairs Division
Office of the Attorney General of Texas
The mother and others took the advice and ran with it. Now the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has opened an official enquiry into a least one official complaint filed about the sex abuse allegations at LVISD.
Lawsuits representing some of the victims have also been filed against the district.