Legacy Early College High School

Ron Roth was chosen to replace Rosemary Kelly as principal at Legacy Early College High School. Recently, a petition was started to reinstate Kelly with the district. Photo by Jason Hennington

In May, the Taylor ISD Board of Trustees started the process to terminate Rosemary Kelly, former principal of Legacy Early College High School. On Thursday morning, a petition was sent out to reinstate Kelly.

The petition said Taylor ISD “irrationally fired Kelly for trying to protect her students following a credible terroristic threat.”

The petition was created by a group of “concerned” community members who hope to get Kelly reinstated.

“At a time when our nation is still debating how to best handle mental health issues and student safety in schools, Taylor ISD is a prime example of just how much work needs to be done,” the petition says. “Rather than considering new mental health support and safety concerns for students, Taylor ISD made a scapegoat of Principal Kelly, a school counselor and educator for decades, who saw warning signs prior to the incident and begged for resources to no avail.”

Taylor ISD Superintendent Keith Brown released a statement Friday morning regarding the petition.

“As a school district and employer, Taylor ISD does not discuss personnel in the press or answer questions about district employee’s personal lives,” he said. “We believe the public and our employees appreciate this practice.”

Kelly, who had been Legacy principal since the 2013-2014 academic year, spoke to the Taylor ISD trustees in May and referred to an incident earlier this year, led to her termination. A student was removed from the school for making terroristic threats, and Kelly said she fought to keep the student from returning to campus.

Kelly said she felt students were not protected and given the services they needed, particularly high-level services.

She felt the choices of central office and the special education department put Legacy in danger, and the school district in legal jeopardy.

Taylor ISD stands firm with its statement of not releasing information about personnel.

However, in May the district released a statement to describe the termination process.

“The proposed termination of a contract must follow strict legal requirements. All that has occurred to date is that the Board of Trustees has proposed that a term contract be terminated. If a hearing is requested to challenge this proposed action, an independent hearing examiner will be appointed by the Texas Education Agency. The sole function of the independent hearing examiner is to conduct a hearing and hear both sides of the story, with the District and employee having an opportunity to present their evidence regarding whether there is good cause to terminate the contract,” the statement said. “A recommendation to terminate or not is then presented for review and acceptance by the Board of Trustees. Until, and if, the contract is terminated, the employee continues to receive full pay and benefits.”

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Link to the petition

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