I absolutely love this article.  The reporter did a good job of getting Larry Moore on the record.  What he didn't get was an accurate picture of what really happened.  If you want the real story, go back to number one on the list on the previous page and read  the Katy Times' account of the situation.

Here's the truth. The item regarding a vote on the disciplinary technique of paddling students had been placed according to all protocols on the May agenda.  When we got to the meeting, two members, Stanley Thompson and Jim Williams, were not there.  Seeing our chance to pass this item that three of us wanted, when the motion was read, we hoped to do just that, but the others tried to table it.  We objected.  With five members present, there was a quorum, and the meeting was perfectly legitimate, legal, and proper.

This entire article below is a treatise in double-speak!  To call the board an "incomplete board" was very inaccurate.  There's no such thing, but Mr. Moore tried to make it so! 

Larry Moore wasn't worried about a board conflict.  We'd had plenty of those since I got on it because I opposed most of the dumb stuff that the superintendent put in front of us.  The "conflict" wasn't bothering anybody except the superintendent, I don't think.

The four that didn't want this action to transpire, were adamant about getting a legal opinion and doing everything they could to undo the action.  The unanimous vote at the end of the discussion was to save face because some on the Board didn't look, at least to me, like they were being very mature about the situation.

Thrown into the middle of the mix was the fact that Garry Weiss wasn't on the Board after the May meeting as he had been replaced by James Peters.  Obviously a new vote on the matter meant that there were now only two of us in favor of stopping the paddling.

Mr. Peters, wisely kept out of the fray.  I think he probably had more to do with settling the issue than anyone.  He wasn't going to be told what to do.

It is interesting that it appears that the legal counsel said the board could rescind the issue.  I personally don't think that if  there were not a "new" board, that would not have been the case.  Boards cannot function if every other month, depending on who is there, they change what they decided the previous month.  How could a school district operate in that kind of a situation?

What I think the legal counsel based their decision on is the fact that a "new" board, which exists when there are any new members elected in a year, has the right to address, change, or modify existing local policy.  That's what "not having paddling" is--local policy.

There's an interesting legal precedent here for all kinds of other issues. 

The one that comes to mind is that the Board in a secret meeting in 2005 or 2006 created Board Policy that said if a Board member wanted to put an item on the Board's monthly agenda, he/she had to obtain the additional approval of two more Board members in order to get their item on the agenda!

The Board did that because they were afraid the Katy Citizen Watchdogs were going to elect two board members in the May 2005 school board election, and if that were to happen, they didn't want them to be able to put items on the agenda. (The policy at the time was that it took TWO board members to create an agenda item.)  Doing so would make issues public with discussion, and the other incumbent board members did not want that situation to occur.  So much for transparency and open government!

The bad part of this situation was that the Watchdogs got only one member, Tom Law, elected to the Board, so it was moot.  The worst part was, and not that it mattered any more, that the Board/Superintendent told Mr. Law that the policy was in effect since right before he was elected.  That was a lie.  We could find no record of the policy having been brought before the Board for a vote.  Before anyone could do anything at all about it, the policy was stuck in the "Consent Agenda" and was voted on unanimously in August 2005.  That made Mr. Law, who didn't understand the purpose of the Consent Agenda, vote FOR something against which he was very much opposed. Can anyone say "dirty politics"?

The idea that the Board members have to have someone else approve an item they want on the agenda is ludicrous.  I can't imagine an intelligent attorney saying that such an action is OK.  I think KISD may be the only school district in Texas that does this. For sure they were the first because it took the TASB attorneys two or three months to figure out if it were "OK."

I also believe as I said above, a "new" board has the right to review local policies that have been passed by another board.

When I was on the Board in the 1990's, a Board member didn't need anyone's approval to put an item on the agenda.  If the rest of the Board doesn't think an agenda item put forward has any merit, all they have to do is not second it.  Simple as that!  So what's the big deal?  Well the Board today doesn't want issues brought forward that they don't want discussed in public.  Might make them look bad.  And besides, they all have to be in bed by 9 o'clock, and this extraneous stuff gets in the way of that!

The moral of this story is that if there's something on the Board agenda that is important to a board member, he shouldn't  miss the meeting.


By Scott Perilman

The Katy Sun

Thursday, July 29, 1993

The Katy school board has voted to implement a discipline management plan that does not allow for paddling after settling a dispute over parliamentary procedure that delayed the vote a month.

After an incomplete board (two members were absent) approved a "paddleless" discipline plan in May, concern that a board conflict could develop surfaced.  But board member Larry Moore says that was not the case.

Moore says the problem was board "communication." He says the vote was delayed until July "to make sure everybody had time to communicate."  Plus, he says, the board was waiting for two legal opinions--one from the Texas Association of School Boards and another from an independent counsel--before deciding what procedure was correct.

As it turned out, the opinions were that he board could go back and rescind its May motion to remove paddling, Moore says.  He felt it was important to clear that up after a dispute that concerned paddling arose at the June meeting.  But the point of seeking legal counsel was to not necessarily reverse the paddling motion, but to establish proper procedure for future actions, he says.

"If we were to approve funding for a computer one month and then funds became unavailable, would we be able to go back and rescind the motion?.." Moore asks.  The district's legal opinions seem to say yes.

Despite the ability to rescind, however, the board voted unanimously to implement the new plan.  Moore says this shows paddling never really was the issue--procedure was.  "It's important to study these things a make sure they're handled correctly." he says.  He adds that the board is "ready to move on."

Moore says now that the process is over he is pleased because "We still have a strong, tough discipline management plan.  It's time to go on to some guidance, budget, and curriculum issues that teachers and staff member have been working hard on."