Can you bar a school board member from attending a high school football game?

The school board in Webb CISD censured one of its own board members and barred him from any district property for a period of one year.  Later, the prohibition was extended for another year. So for two years a member of the board could not set foot on district property. There were only two exceptions: he could attend board meetings, and he could attend parent-teacher conferences.  Thus the board member was barred from Friday night football games and all other extracurricular activities.

Can they do that?  Commissioner Morath has ruled that they can.  The Commish ruled that he did not have jurisdiction to review the censure.  The board member claimed that the board “abused its discretion” in censuring him. The Commissioner ruled that he does not have jurisdiction to even consider that argument.  His jurisdiction is limited to cases alleging a violation of our school laws.  The censure may have been an abuse of discretion, but it was not a violation of the school laws of Texas.

What about this “no football games for you” requirement?  Isn’t that un-American, un-Texan and unlawful?  The Commissioner ruled that it was lawful, and did not discuss anything else.  The board member noted that we now have a statute (T.E.C. 37.105) that spells out the reasons why a person might be barred or ejected from school property.  Doesn’t that limit the power of school boards to bar a person from school property? The Commissioner noted that the Chapter 37 statute is about the power of school administrators to bar an unruly person. The board, on the other hand, is the owner of all district property, and can bar any person from its property for any non-discriminatory reason.

The board enjoys the same rights of ownership as any other owner of property.  I don’t have to have a good reason to tell you to get off my land—I can just tell you to get off my land. If you don’t go, you are a trespasser. The same goes for the board.

Pretty interesting doings in Webb CISD.  The case is Salinas v. Webb CISD, decided by the Commissioner on July 6, 2018.  It’s Docket No. 034-R10-08-2017.


 Enjoy the weekend!  We will be back with more Daily Dawg on Monday.