Local ISD Sells Plane, Lets Official Slide


Granbury Independent School District's plane | Image by WFAA

Granbury Independent School District’s (GISD) Board of Trustees opted not to discipline a school official who had been caught taking the district’s private plane on personal trips, choosing instead to sell the plane after residents lambasted the board for purchasing it in the first place.

As previously reported in The Dallas Express, the district’s assistant superintendent, Jimmy Dawson, flew GISD’s single-engine Cessna 172 at least six times with his family members — mostly around holidays — and without any authorization from the district for the flights, according to a report commissioned by the school board.

The report concluded that Dawson had not committed any crime nor violated any written policy. Still, given the ethical “gray area,” Miles Bradshaw, the attorney who wrote the report, recommended Dawson face some kind of reprimand (written or verbal) and ethics training.

On Monday, GISD residents spoke during the public comment section of the school board meeting and criticized the trustees for buying the plane without establishing clear policies that would shield the district from liability.

“Your attorney last meeting pointed out that there was a lack of policies and, therefore, there could be no accountability for what took place with the airplane,” said Marietta Harrell.

“Without good policies, where is the legal responsibility for the pilot should he have an incident in that plane that injures either a student or a member of the public?” she asked the board. “No one sets out in the morning saying, ‘I’m going to have an accident today.’ Accidents happen,” she said.”

Later in the meeting, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to sell the plane. It did not, however, move to discipline Dawson, just as it chose to give him a pass the month before.

GISD bought the plane in April 2021 for its aviation program, spending nearly $100,000 of district taxpayer money to get it, according to WFAA.

The Dallas Express reached out to GISD and asked its superintendent and trustees whether Dawson would be given a reprimand or face any kind of disciplinary action.

A spokesperson responded, “Regarding this personnel matter, the District has taken action with adherence to Board Policy.”

The Dallas Express pressed for clarification, asking, “Did Mr. Dawson receive any disciplinary action by the Board or the Superintendent, and if so, when?”

The spokesperson replied, “Please understand that while I can verify action has been taken, I am unable to provide further details as the District does not discuss personnel matters.”

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1 month ago

This is UNBELIEVABLE. The district has an aviation program and an airplane. This is one of the BEST ideas any district could have come up with. It engages the students and rewards them at the same time.

The problem is with this Assistant Superintendent and no one else. he got in trouble a month ago and again now. It is OBVIOUS he has not the moral nor management attitude to handle his position at all.

When legal states that someone should be disciplined, then they had better do it. Since he was just in trouble and was at least warned, no further discipline is needed. He is abusive of the taxpayer and the beneficiaries of the system. In essence he has no sense of social responsibility.

Get rid of this FOOL.