NEWS 8 INVESTIGATES
DALLAS -- A Dallas Independent School District principal with a history of policy violations has allegedly crossed a new line.
Internal investigators have upheld a teacher's accusation that she was harassed by her principal for years. But some say of equal concern is DISD administration's response to the latest violation.
The alleged harassment is detailed in an internal audit, which DISD originally declined to release to News 8. But this week, the Texas Attorney General ordered district officials to make its contents public.
Contained in the report are allegations from an unnamed teacher at Kimball High School that Principal Earl Jones made "inappropriate comments" to her, beginning in 2010. According to the report, Jones allegedly would question the teacher about "what she was wearing and whether or not she worked out." The teacher complained Jones "would just sit across from her and stare at her [...] making her feel uncomfortable."
In May of last year, the teacher alleged Jones "passed behind her, putting his hand on her lower back near her buttocks." From then on, she felt she was "targeted by Jones" and claims she was demoted.
She filed a formal complaint, and in December of last year, internal investigators upheld the allegations and determined Jones "created an environment which caused the harassment" of the complainant, "leading her to believe she was being sexually harassed."
They found Jones in violation of two district policies.
Jones has denied the allegations, and there is no evidence that he was ever disciplined.
DISD officials declined to comment on the specifics of the report and said via e-mail that the complainant’s allegations of retaliation were unfounded.
The complaining teacher still has a job. Jones is still Kimball’s principal.
Rena Honea, head of the teachers' union Alliance AFT, said teachers she represents have been fired for much less.
"Allegations were made, they were found to be true, and there's no repercussion for that at all,” Honea said. “That is outrageous, and it sends a clear message to employees that these things are OK."
This is the third time in just over one year that Jones was found to be in violation of DISD policy. In October 2012, investigators determined he falsified time cards and violated DISD policy governing facility leasing and advertising.
In December of last year, investigators said Jones "failed to maintain control of campus document retention procedures" and "falsified [...] funding certification documents."
Kimball High School is one of 35 DISD schools on the state's “academically unacceptable” list. But the varsity basketball team has won three out of the last four state championships.
Honea said she hopes that's not the reason a perpetual policy violator is keeping his job.
"So for this employee to be allowed to continue in a leadership position making an unsafe and almost hostile working environment is critical for the message it sends to people working in Dallas ISD," she said.