When inaction is action

When Mr. Guerrero brought his grievance to the school board he had some support.  One board member made a motion to uphold the administrative decision, which was against Mr. Guerrero.  However, no one seconded the motion.  Moreover, one of the board members “wholeheartedly felt an injustice was done to [Mr. Guerrero] and expressed his disgust and displeasure about how [Mr. Guerrero] had been treated.” 

Background: Mr. Guerrero had worked in the district’s maintenance department for 24 years until the day he quit in frustration with how he was treated by his supervisor.  When he later sought to get his job back, he was turned down. Then he filed the grievance that went to the board.

The upshot of the board meeting was that no action was taken.  A motion was made, but it drifted away like a leaf falling from a tree when no one seconded it.  Mr. Guerrero then appealed the board’s decision to T.E.A.

Decision?  What decision? That was the argument made by the school district. The board never acted; therefore there was no “decision” to appeal, and the Agency should dismiss the case due to lack of jurisdiction. 

That did not work.  Key Quotes:

There are a plethora of cases holding that the board’s failure to act on a grievance is a decision to uphold the decision at the administrative level and is subject to appeal. 

By not voting on a grievance, a board has made a decision not to change the prior administrative decision.

Nevertheless, Mr. Guerrero lost at the Agency.  The school district’s first argument was rejected, but the backup plan worked.  The school pointed out that there only two ways to bring a case to T.E.A.: you have to complain about breach of a written contract that caused monetary harm; or that the school violated “the school laws of the state.”  Mr. Guerrero had no contract, and failed to point out any “school laws” that the district violated. Case closed.

This is Guerrero v. Crosbyton CISD, decided by the Commissioner on April 16, 2020.  It’s Docket No. 015-R10-11-2019.


Tomorrow: First day of school????