Local ISD Settles Suit With Student’s Father

Shaking hands | Image by geralt/Pixabay

McKinney Independent School District reached a settlement last week with a district father who sued for alleged constitutional rights violations after he was banned from district property in May 2022.

A longstanding dispute between Samuel Hall and McKinney ISD was laid to rest after a federal lawsuit filed by the former was settled on December 1.

“I also hope this serves as an example to our elected officials that they must uphold the integrity of the office to which they have been elected and not abuse the authority that they have been entrusted with,” Hall told Texas Scorecard in an interview.

As previously reported in The Dallas Express, Hall was issued a criminal trespass warning by a school resource officer and told not to set foot on district property again at risk of arrest when he tried to attend a meeting of McKinney ISD’s Board of Trustees on May 17, 2022.

While the district maintained that Hall had been barred after cursing at a board meeting, he claimed that it was because he was openly critical when the district failed to remove books from its library shelves perceived by some as sexually explicit or obscene.

It took nearly a year for Hall to have the ban removed, with a Texas Education Agency (TEA) administrative judge ruling in his favor in April. The ruling from the judge found that the district’s actions were not in line with the Texas Education Code and violated Hall’s parental rights.

Indeed, during that time, Hall struggled with not being able to be engaged with his children’s lives at school.

“You know, not being able to pick up or drop off your kids from school or attend orchestra, other school events, that was hard on myself and my wife and kids. So, I think it feels amazing to be able to come to a school event and not think [I’m] going to get arrested,” Hall previously told The Dallas Express.

The issue of allegedly sexually explicit books at schools has stirred up enormous controversy.

Chad Green, a trustee on McKinney ISD’s school board, has urged that these materials be barred from schools not only for being inappropriate but also to limit distractions from important matters, such as academics.

“We’re way underperforming where we should be performing,” Green previously told The Dallas Express.

McKinney ISD saw just 62% of its students score at grade level on their STAAR exams during the 2021-2022 school year, according to data from the TEA. That same year, Dallas ISD, which has also seen sexually explicit book controversies, only managed to have 41% of students score at grade level on the state exam.

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