School board considers action after sex talk

Just weeks after her controversial speech, Dr. Shirley Price chose not to explain herself to us. "I'll say it all tonight," she said.

February 16, 2010 2:22:38 PM PST
There could be a packed school board meeting tonight in Hitchcock. Parents may turn out to see what will happen to one of the school board members.

Dr. Shirley Price was supposed to be talking about the TAKS test last month. Instead she gave an explicit talk about sex to the young female students.

Just weeks after her controversial speech, Dr. Price chose not to explain herself to us.

"I'll say it all tonight," she said.

Instead, she left opinions up to the school board, who will decide her fate tonight, and parents who have very passionate views of what was done.

"When it comes to the moral implications of what she did, that's a parent's job," said parent Shurma Herrington. "She stepped over the line."

It was January 15 when Price was supposed to deliver a motivational speech at Crosby Middle School in preparation for the TAKS test. Instead, officials say, Price asked the principal to leave and then gave a graphic and explicit talk about sex to 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders.

Price recently apologized to parents in a letter, saying "It was an instant decision that was not fully thought through. It was not intended to offend upset or embarrass anyone in any way."

"It must be in a different setting with permission granted on the part of the parents," said Hitchcock ISD Superintendent Dr. Mike Bergman.

The board will have several options tonight, ranging from asking Price to resign to public censoring, limiting her access to school functions.

They can't, however, remove her from the board. That decision would have to be left up to a judge, but only if the board votes to pursue legal action.

Parents, meantime, have strong opinions on what they think should happen.

"She should have asked permission from the parents to talk about that, but I don't think they should just get rid of her," said parent Dolletta Pope.

"I really don't think it's right. These are kids. We're supposed to trust these people that are authorities," said parent Belinda Hernandez. "I'm strongly against it."

Six parents have filed formal complaints with the district. The Hitchcock school district is holding a general election this May for trustee positions 1 and 2. Price represents District 2 and she is running for re-election to the board.