And on the Superintendent's stationery this letter was also sent home to parents at the same time:

September 8, 1993

Dear Parents,

A great deal of concern has been expressed in our community regarding the language used in our Discipline Management Plan to define public lewdness.  Although the language tracks the law (Texas Penal Code, Section 21.07), it is indeed startling, and inappropriate for a student handbook.

To document the facts, the Board of Trustees began study of the Discipline Management Plan in March of 1993, and continued to review the plan through April and May.  At the Board meeting on May 24, 1993, the Board of Trustees approved the Discipline Management Plan.  Subsequent to this approval, Senate Bill 7, recently passed by the Texas Legislature, added public lewdness to the list of offenses for which students may be expelled from Texas Public Schools.  This legislation was received in our district in late June and a decision was made to add this provision to the Discipline Management Plan. An error in judgment occurred when the exact language from the Texas Penal Code was used to define public lewdness for the purpose of this handbook. The book was then sent to the printer and distributed to the children without the review and approval of the Board of Trustees.

As superintendent, I accept the responsibility for the actions of my administrators [and his MM] and pledge to correct the problem with the next printing.  In the meantime, if you or your child have been offended, I am truly sorry.  [Of course the next printing would probably have occurred the next year!]

We understand fully that our patrons want their children to be safe and free from distractions as they pursue their studies.  The Board of Trustees has made it clear that we do not intend to allow disruptive or violent students to interfere with the educational process for others.  We have learned from past experiences that our policies must conform to the law if we are to be successful in defending expulsion cases or assignment to an alternative learning environment.  For that reason, we have always been as specific as possible when writing policies for our Discipline Management Plan.  However, we can and will use language appropriate for our children.

In the meantime, I ask you to support us in our efforts to make our schools as safe as possible and as free from disruptive forces as we can make them.  I hope we can put this issue behind us and can move forward in our efforts to improve educational opportunities for our children.

I hope your child is having a wonderful school year.  We look forward to your continued support.


Dr. Hugh C. Hayes