Two more arrests of HISD employees

December 11, 2008 4:37:22 PM PST
Over the past few weeks, there have been a dozen arrests of HISD employees for drugs, the majority of them being teachers. And on Thursday, the number increased by two when drug dogs did a sweep of the district's own headquarters. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

HISD police say they found marijuana in the vehicles of two more employees -- Howard Vincent Reynolds, who works for the school district's cable television station, and Michael Anthony Hayes, a food service worker. Both were arrested Thursday morning after the alleged discoveries.

Drug dogs hit on other cars, like that of Diana Lerma, but no contraband was found in hers or other vehicles.

"It kind of make me wonder what could they possibly be looking for," she wondered.

HISD says 16 employees have been arrested since October 1 on suspicion of drug possession. That includes Thursday's two arrests and the arrests of two food service employees in October, which the district has, until now, never revealed. Eleven of those arrested were teachers.

Thursday's search was the first in a crackdown HISD Superintendent Abe Saavedra announced earlier this week. An HISD spokesperson calls it significant that the searches started at their main administrative office.

"I think it sent a very strong message to our employees that no one is exempt," said Norm Uhl with the district. "Everybody's car will be searched at some point during this year."

HISD does drug test its teachers with cause, but not as a condition of employment and not even randomly. One HISD trustee tells us the board has talked about whether they should try to get the legislature's help in allowing them to do such testing.

"We'll try to get those issues in front of the legislature to see what they can do about it," said Manuel Rodriguez.

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