Treating parents as “partners”—an example from Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD

The parent of a student in the HEB ISD took her complaint to the Texas Education Agency, alleging that she was not treated as a partner in her child’s education.  The Commissioner ruled that he did not have jurisdiction to rule on the complaint, but in the process, he provided a great example of what “partnership” might look like. 

Texas does not make this school-parent “partnership” just a lofty sounding goal.  It’s built into our laws.  We have an entire chapter in the Education Code entitled Parent Rights and Responsibilities.  It leads off with this:

Parents are partners with educators, administrators, and school district boards of trustees in their children’s education.  T.E.C. 26.001(a).   

This kerfuffle began when the assistant principal disciplined the student for a cell phone violation of the Code of Conduct. The mother complained of this, as well as other acts of alleged harassment and/or retaliation.  The Commissioner detailed how the district responded to each specific request and summarized it as follows:

Overall, Petitioner’s complaints and requested remedies were given serious consideration by the administration and a relatively positive outcome was achieved.  Four requested remedies were granted, three were forwarded to the appropriate committees for consideration, two were denied and one (the apology) was neither granted nor denied.  Viewed objectively, Petitioner was treated as a partner in Student’s education and her requests were treated appropriately according to state law and policy.

Nicely done, HEB. 


Tomorrow: how a retaliation claim is like baseball.