HISD teacher accused of 'threatening' comments at board meeting, prompting potential termination

Jiovanni Lieggi Image
Thursday, August 24, 2023
HISD teacher could be fired after comments at explosive board meeting
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A Houston ISD teacher could potentially be terminated after being accused of making threatening comments at a tense board meeting.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston ISD Superintendent Mike Miles has moved to fire a teacher who has been with the district for almost three decades after a board meeting that happened in June.

During the meeting, the eighth-grade science teacher, Larry McKinzie, mentioned members' home addresses and named their family members. He also mentioned protesting at their places of employment.

The district claims the remarks made by McKinzie were threats and notified him through mail that a proposal to terminate his employment is pending before the board. McKinzie said his words were misinterpreted, and just wanted the board to be more transparent with the public.

"They said I threatened them and I didn't. All I did was go online and present some of the information I found," McKinzie said.

In the letter sent to McKinzie, the board claimed he violated several policies.

The policies the district claims were violated are as follows: Relating to colleagues and supervisors with respect, courtesy, and in a professional manner; following the established rules of behavior for the District and society in general as defined by local, state, and federal laws; the educator shall comply with state regulations, written local school board policies, and other state and federal laws; the educator shall not make threats of violence against school district employees, school board members, students, or parents of students, and; the educator shall not use coercive means or promise of special treatment in order to influence professional decisions or colleagues.

"If you are a board manager, then you have to expect people are going to speak with you. You have to avail yourself so you can be accountable for your job," McKinzie said.

McKinzie said he didn't feel like he threatened anyone and just wanted the board to be held accountable and transparent following the state takeover.

"I didn't hear a threat. I don't think anyone in the room heard a threat. So, she actually accused him of threatening someone, and he had not done that," Houston Federation of Teachers Jackie Anderson said.

McKinzie has appealed this decision and will be required to meet with a TEA officer prior to the board's decision, which could happen in September.

Editor's note: The video above references McKinzie mentioning a child taking karate classes during the meeting. That child is now an adult.

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