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Elementary principal returns to work amid complaints

By JULIAN CAVAZOS
June 9, 2010 at 1:09 a.m.


IF YOU GO

WHAT: Victoria school board meeting

WHEN: 6 p.m. June 17

WHERE: Education Center, 102 Profit Drive

Filing a Complaint

VISD's policy states that:

Any parent or school district employee with a complaint against another VISD employee must file a formal grievance report with the school district describing the event or action.

The school district will then begin the process of investigating and evaluating the complaint, which includes meeting with the person with the complaint.

Principals, executive directors, the school board, the superintendent and other designees may get involved in the investigation where necessary.

Tammy Nobles, the William Wood Elementary School principal acquitted last week of assaulting a teacher, will go back to work Thursday.

Victoria school district attorney Clay Cain said Superintendent Bob Moore decided earlier this week to reinstate Nobles.

The principal was acquitted last week in Justice of the Peace Robert Whitaker's courtroom, a move which served as a contributing factor in Moore's decision to reinstate her.

The principal had been accused of grabbing and squeezing teacher Marie Michelle Flores by the arms on April 22, according to the complaint filed by the teacher in Whitaker's office.

Nobles had been on administrative leave during the investigation since about April 26, Cain said.

However, with Nobles returning to school, some Wood faculty and staff members and parents who spoke out against Nobles in a closed session of last week's board meeting, are upset at the school district's decision.

At the board meeting, one staff member, who chose to not be identified, acted as a spokesman for about 16 faculty and staff members present.

The employee read the board a letter, which was signed by 16 Wood employees.

"As a staff at William Wood Elementary, we are requesting the transfer of our current principal, Tammy Nobles," the employee read. "We feel that the campus will be unable to function properly with Mrs. Nobles as our administrator. The most recent incident is but one in a long line of issues. Various current and former staff members have felt harassed by her bullying behavior."

The spokesman said several teachers were in the process of filing grievance reports with the school district against Nobles.

Parents, such as Staci Keel, also complained to the board in that private meeting regarding Nobles.

Keel, who has filed grievance reports, hopes an investigation comes about soon regarding the way she believes Nobles verbally mistreats some school children, including her son, Colton, who will be a fifth-grader in August.

"We just want answers and we want to know our kids are protected and are not going to be bullied by our principal," Keel said.

Kevin Lungwitz, who is Nobles' attorney regarding her administrative leave and reinstatement, said complaints aimed toward principals are common.

"I represent a lot of principals around the state," Lungwitz, of Austin, said. "They have a hard job to do. They are responsible for the success of their campus and they're in charge of supervising staff. The ability for everyone to be happy at the same time is actually impossible."

Lungwitz also said Nobles is looking forward to returning as principal.

"Mrs. Nobles has been anxiously awaiting to return to work and eagerly looks forward to continuing to serve students, parents, staff at her schools," Lungwitz said. "She looks forward to mending fences and doing what is best for the students and VISD."

Nobles also serves as principal at Guadalupe Elementary School.

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