KELLY SHOULD BE RE-INSTATED
Under Rosemary Kelly’s leadership, Legacy added high-level AP courses and valuable dual-credit courses through UT. Nineteen of 24 students in this year’s top 10 percent of the Taylor ISD graduating class are Legacy seniors. Further, Legacy’s scores on state standardized tests have kept Taylor ISD’s high school scores from falling well below average.
Legacy has around 200 students. Prospective students must apply and be accepted. Students can be un-enrolled for drug use and poor academic performance. Legacy has no mental health or security resources. But, THS already has the resources to safely accommodate a special needs student in a “normalized” setting.
On Feb. 20, a Legacy student made “threats against the lives of everyone in school.” “The student, . . . told police that the plan was to . . . kill everyone . . . .” The student was charged with making a terroristic threat.
In March, Kelly signed her contract for next year. Afterward, Superintendent Keith Brown and the Board re-admitted the threatening student to Legacy. Kelly resisted. Many of her prior requests for assistance for this student had been ignored or denied, and she felt that the district’s choices placed Legacy in danger and TISD in legal jeopardy. Brown and the Board initiated termination proceedings.
The Board denied that Kelly’s resistance prompted the termination proceedings. Instead, Kelly received a “laundry list” of infractions. Many pre-dated Kelly’s contract. Kelly was never reprimanded.
By terminating Kelly, the Board has compromised Legacy’s future. Kelly regularly worked over 50 hours per week. Her replacement, Ron Roth, will work for Legacy part-time, continuing as principal of Taylor Opportunity Center.
When asked about Kelly’s termination, Board members cite privacy concerns. When we complain about Kelly’s poor treatment, they say we have “incomplete information” or chide us for “attacking the district” and spreading “misinformation.” Kelly’s next hearing is in early August. The Board’s reasons for terminating Kelly cannot possibly outweigh the good she has done for Legacy. Over half of Legacy’s teachers are gone. We don’t have our own principal. For TISD’s sake, we must retain Kelly.
Jane M Hensley
GO SLOW ON ROADS
I’m writing to express my concern about the long-range transportation plan in Williamson County. Norman’s Crossing (and the surrounding area) is home to the most beautiful, bountiful, and productive farmland in the county—home to several heritage farms. And the plan is to build a 350-foot-wide highway right through it. Our eastern Williamson County farms should be considered a treasure rather than a point of least resistance for the construction of multiple highways, subdivisions, and commercial development sites. There are more proactive ways to accommodate the anticipated growth while preserving the farmland and rural areas that are essential to our livelihood and quality of life.
Expanding the tax based to increase tax revenue is a myth. Farms are cheaper for taxpayers than suburban areas. According to the American Farmland Trust’s Cost of Service Study in Hays County, “for every dollar these [agriculture and ranch] lands generated in revenue for the county, school and public service districts, they required back only $0.33 in services. While residential lands generated significantly more dollars in property taxes, they required even more in services — $1.26 for every $1 paid in taxes.
”I urge your readers to contact their County Commissioners and City Council representatives and urge them to recon-sider these corridor road projects and the unfettered growth they will bring to eastern Williamson County.
IMMIGRATION POLICY IS SHAMEFUL
Removing County support for the T. Don Hutto prison was a good first step. But, I am troubled by the fact that some of us are OK with the idea of confining adults and even children in jail-like situations for committed the crime of stepping across the border from Mexico. That is simple trespass, a misdemeanor.
As asylum seekers, these individuals have legal protection, both national and international. These folk, desperately fleeing murderous situations back home, are refugees not criminals. Equating them to gangs is deliberate, prejudicial bullying. In America, trespassing or other misdemeanor charges might result in a ticket, but not prison.
In America, toddlers and children are never behind bars or in internment camps. Except now, our government is doing just that. This administration kidnaps babies and toddlers, right from parent’s arms; then transports and hides the child somewhere far from the distraught parent. This casually applied cruelty ordered by Attorney General Jeff Sessions is illegal and shameful. The tawdry policy disgraces and sullies the greatest Democracy in the world.
Democracy survives only when we the people preserve and protect civil rights for all, not just for some of the people. Fascism begins when we the people fail to recognize and act when our civil rights are compromised.