Texas Education Agency forces Round Rock ISD Board to place Superintendent Dr. Hafedh Azaiez on paid administrative leave
TEA also makes the Board hire an external investigator to look into Azaiez's conduct
The Texas Education Agency forced Round Rock ISD Board of Trustees to place Superintendent Dr. Hafedh Azaiez on paid administrative leave. TEA also told Round Rock ISD to hire an external investigativor to look into Azaiez’s conduct, at a meeting Jan. 6.
Before any motions were made, Trustee Amy Weir said the Board had been “told in no uncertain terms” to follow TEA’s recommendation.
“We can do as we’re told this evening,” Weir said.
Weir then made a motion to place Azaiez on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an external investigation, regarding conduct found in a protective order issued by Travis County District Court. Trustee Cory Vessa seconded the motion.
Before voting, Board President Amber Feller made an important statement. Feller said she was a huge advocate for the rights of the abused, and she takes the responsibility of protecting those vulnerable populations very seriously.
Read Feller’s full statement below:
“Having said that, I’ve been closely monitoring this situation since I was made aware of it on July 14, 2021. I’ve studied court documents, read peoples’ opinions on social media, attended at least five separate board meetings with attorneys and weighed both solicited and unsolicited advice from so many sources I have lost count.
Throughout the last six months I have gathered a list of over 25 troubling items surrounding this case, contributing to my significant doubt. Despite all of this, I have remained publicly silent because this is a personal and personnel issue for an employee.
Since receiving the Dec. 15 memo from our Monitor, I have asked numerous times that this board be allowed access to the information that TEA and our Monitor used to make these recommendations. My requests have been repeatedly denied. I am told that we must rely on the recommendation alone. In my personal opinion, this is equivalent to a parent telling a small child, ‘Because I said so.’
As a result, I will be making my vote tonight without all of the relevant facts that we, as his employer, should be entitled to. I will be basing my vote solely on the recommendation/directive from TEA. The only comfort I find is that administrative leave is not an adverse employment action. At the conclusion of the Board’s investigation, Dr. Azaiez should be able to return to work, if there is no finding of wrongdoing.”
Round Rock ISD Trustees then voted 6-1, with Dr. Jun Xiao dissenting, to place Azaiez on administrative leave and hire an external investigator.
Trustees also unanimously voted to appoint Dr. Daniel Presley as Temporary Acting Superintendent until Azaiez’s investigation is complete.