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Texas Education Agency responds to complaint against AISD school board trustee

Renee McCown
The Texas Education Agency has responded to the complaint filed against the Amarillo ISD school board and trustee Renee McCown.

In its response, the TEA told Dr. Marc Henson that allegations do not fall under its jurisdiction. TEA went on to say that since the allegations involve a local employment issue, the complaint must go through the Amarillo ISD's grievance process.

"I have reached out to the TEA for clarification. The AISD is emailing their complaint form and policy. Once I've exhausted the grievance process, then the complaint goes to the Commissioner of Education.

"There are several options in addition moving forward. Stay tuned!" Henson said in a Facebook post.

The AISD did offer a brief statement after the latest development in this ongoing controversy.

"Amarillo ISD has not received any communication from TEA about the complaint. As outlined in policy, a complaint concerning events that happened in January must have been filed weeks ago.

"Though the District doesn’t openly discuss details regarding personnel situations, we appreciate the interest and involvement of our parents and community members who want the best for our children," AISD said.

Henson, an Amarillo High School alumni, filed a formal complaint with the Texas Education Agency against the Amarillo ISD school board. Henson specifically claims that McCown, used her position in an attempt to influence coaching decisions and playing time for her own daughters on the AHS volleyball team.

Henson states in his complaint that McCown used "her position of power to benefit her two high school daughters" and "when that was no longer tolerated, she used her influence for retaliation."

"I'd like to see them review what's happened, find out more, and then give us some kind of feedback about the nature of this. Right now it doesn't look very good. It looks like we have a, like I said, a district that can not police itself.

“I want a district where my children are not going to have to be competing against other kids whose parents have some sort of power or privilege. I want my kids to go through school in a normal fashion. I want their accomplishments to be their own, and I don’t want people to be mingling with what they’re doing or giving some outside influence. I want a district where there’s some civility," Henson said.

Kori Clements
The situation began with the resignation of Clements after just one season.

“For a variety of reasons, I have recently resigned from my position as AHS volleyball coach, effective at the end of my contract. I want to be clear, I have not violated any district or UIL standards, and have upheld the teacher code of ethics at all times.

“As a coach, playing time decisions are always difficult. Unfortunately, upon making these decisions in the best interest of team success, I was not supported by athletic, campus, or district administration.

"I was told by campus administration that I needed to recognize the political aspect of my job, and also of theirs. I cannot and will not compromise the integrity of my decisions based on a parent’s political pressure or position.

"I believe strongly in the value of athletics, that being a part of a team is a privilege, and playing time is earned," Clements said at the time of her resignation.

With the filing of the complaint, Clements said she is encouraged to see the community stepping up for the coaches, teachers, and students in the AISD.

"It is encouraging that members of the community have taken steps to ensure that teachers and coaches can make decisions in the classroom and on the court with confidence, and in the best interest of the students they serve," Clements said.

Read the full text of Dr. Henson's complaint below: