Teachers' union president claims she can prove she didn't break HISD policy over social posts

Luke Jones Image
Wednesday, March 13, 2024
Teachers' union president claims retaliation when HISD reassigned her
Houston Education Association president, Michelle Williams, claims HISD retaliated when officials reassigned her from the classroom to the bus depot.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Days after the Houston Independent School District removed her from her teaching position, the president of the Houston Education Association is speaking out.

Michelle Williams told Eyewitness News that her proposed termination "is about retaliation."

On March 6, Williams said she went live on social media just after 6 a.m. from a classroom set in her home. In an eight-minute video, she criticized HISD's plan to add 10 days to the school year.

The next day, Williams got a letter from HISD accusing her of livestreaming from her classroom at Shadowbriar Elementary School.

The district said this violates a policy barring employees from conducting non-work-related activities during work hours.

Williams was reassigned to the district bus depot while HISD decided whether to renew her teaching contract.

"I was not at the campus. I can prove that I wasn't there," Williams said.

Williams claims school surveillance footage will show she arrived at work over an hour after the video went up.

"You're not going to say that I'm doing something and I'm not. I don't break policy. There's not a policy that I've broken," Williams said.

Williams concedes that four other posts the district cites went live during work hours but claims these posts were scheduled.

She said her long-running criticism of HISD Superintendent Mike Miles is what's really behind the decision.

"He's targeting me because he doesn't want us to tell the truth about what's really happening in HISD," Williams said.

HISD previously declined to comment on Williams' case.

On Tuesday, Eyewitness News asked the district if teachers' social media accounts were routinely checked to ensure teachers weren't posting during work hours.

HISD sent Eyewitness News an email that didn't answer that question. It simply said all district employees were required to follow district policy.

HISD's board still has to decide whether to renew Williams' contract. She says she has yet to be told when that could happen.

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SEE ALSO: Over 100 HISD principals at risk of losing jobs if they don't improve school performance scores