Embattled Katy ISD superintendent to retire

May 16, 2018 by

Lance Hindt

The Katy ISD board voted Thursday night to provide legal support for its embattled superintendent, Lance Hindt, who has been dogged by decades-old bullying claims arising from his middle and high school years.

In a surprise, Hindt also announced he will retire Jan. 1 nearly a million dollars richer in the contract settlement.

During the board’s open session late Thursday, Hindt said: “Coming home to Katy to lead this school district where I grew up and attended school was my highest professional honor.”

But the superintendent said what he called a smear campaign by a small group has made it too hard for his family, including his wife, son and daughter.

Board president Ashley Vann called Hindt “a passionate educator” and a “kind friend.”

“It’s time for this to come to an end,” she added. “It’s time to defend ourselves.”

The board voted to hire the law firm of Feldman and Feldman as outside counsel to pursue a defamation case.

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After the meeting, Greg Gay, the Katy businessman and former classmate of Hindt’s who made the first allegations of bullying, reacted with surprise at Hindt’s announced departure.

“This upsets me. This is not what I wanted at all,” Gay said.  “It breaks my heart.”

Of the assertion of cyberbullying against Hindt’s family, Gay said he was “horrified.”

WHAT HAPPENED? Katy community under spotlight after superintendent accused of bullying

After meeting in closed session, the board gathered in open session to consider “engaging special counsel to pursue legal action for defamation on behalf of the superintendent, other school officials, and/or staff,” according to a meeting notice. The board was also to consider an unspecified amendment to Hindt’s contract.

Hindt, who was hired in August 2016 to lead the sprawling district west of Houston, has denied the bullying allegations while acknowledging that he did “dumb things” as a younger man before a religious awakening. But he also lamented in a statement in April the “evil among us,” pushing back against those who “will do anything to destroy someone’s good reputation and 27-year career.” Trustees have stood behind Hindt, a Katy-area native who previously led the Allen ISD.

His statements have not satisfied critics, who say bullying is pervasive and tolerated in the district. One Katy parent, Sean Dolan, has used a website to step up criticism of Hindt, questioning whether there was plagiarized material in Hindt’s 2012 doctoral dissertation at the University of Houston. A Katy ISD spokeswoman told a local news station there was “zero truth to this allegation.”

A UH spokesman said this week that the university has policies and procedures in place to ensure academic integrity and address allegations of academic misconduct. But due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, he said, “UH cannot comment on allegations made about a specific student.”

A constitutional law expert said this week that Hindt as a government official will face more difficulty proving that he has been defamed than if he were a private citizen.

Source: Embattled Katy ISD superintendent to retire – Houston Chronicle

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1 Comment

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    Mary McGarr

    Anyone who cares about the truth of this issue should go to http://www.abetterlegacy.com and view for themselves a well thought out presentation of the facts regarding the dissertation.

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