RRISD superintendent addresses ‘increasingly raucous’ board meetings in letter to staff

Williamson County

FILE — Dr. Hafedh Azaiez, RRISD superintendent

ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — The superintendent for Round Rock ISD addressed growing tensions between some parents and members of the school board in a letter to faculty and staff this week.

Round Rock ISD board member Cory Vessa shared the letter from Dr. Hafedh Azaiez, the RRISD superintendent, on Twitter.

After addressing the fatal mass shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan, Azaiez moved to say, “I also want to address some other issues that have been in the news lately. You may have heard some of these reports and have questions.”

This week Allen West, a Texas GOP gubernatorial candidate, vowed in front of Round Rock parents and community members that he would launch an investigation into the Round Rock ISD Police Department if elected governor.

It comes after two men were arrested in connection to a RRISD board meeting in September. That meeting, which had a possible mask mandate as a topic on the agenda, got out of hand and was cut short.

“Information provided to the Williamson County Attorney’s Office resulted in the arrest of these two individuals. The arrests, misdemeanor charges for violating the Texas Penal Code, were carried out by the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, not Round Rock ISD Police,” Azaiez wrote of the two men’s arrest.

Those two men, and several other members of the community, believed the board did not allow enough people into a meeting in mid-September to talk about whether the district would adopt a mask mandate. The district said only a certain number of parents and community members were allowed into the room because of COVID-19 protocols. There was an overflow room.

“To be clear, the Round Rock ISD Board of Trustees has not violated the Texas Open Meetings Act,” Azaiez wrote.

Two of the seven board members have also said they believed more people should have been let into that meeting. One even went on Steve Bannon’s podcast and talked about the situation to a nationwide audience just a few weeks ago.

“I am confident we will move beyond the current climate and, together, refocus on serving students,” Azaiez said. “I know that is your focus every day and, for that and much more, you have my deepest gratitude.”

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