CSCOPE suit falters; lesson plans available
August 19, 2013, 6:07 pm by Lance Reaves
Teachers in the Llano IndependentSchool District are free to use CSCOPE lesson plans after a judge Friday ruled the court did not have jurisdiction in a lawsuit by a group of Llano County citizens seeking to prohibit these lessons plans.
Despite the controversy surrounding the plans, Llano ISD Superintendent Casey Callahan saidhe encourages anyone with doubts to visit their district and witness firsthand what they teach.
"I have invited them all along to come sit in one of our classrooms in Llano ISD and come watch and see exactly what’s going on,” he said.
Callahan said the district would neither prohibit nor mandate teachers using the lesson plans, saying they "can use those tools if they choose, or they can use other tools.” Callahan said the ruling was what they expected.
Llano ISD Board President Ronnie Rudd said the judge’s ruling was "just step one,” and said he expects an appeal at some point.
Although the injunction was not granted, Llano Countycitizen Bill Hussey, one of the six plaintiffs in the case, described the day as a win for both the students and parents.
"We may not have prevailed in the courtroom, but we’ve raised awareness in our community and across Texas,” he said.
The plaintiffs can appeal, and Hussey said he and the other plaintiffs plan to discuss as a group what they’re best options might be and move forward from there.
District Judge J. Allan Garrett ruled that the 33rd District Court did not have jurisdiction in the lawsuit brought by the group of Llano County citizens seeking an injunction to prohibit Llano ISD from using the CSCOPE lesson plans.
On Aug. 9, Attorney Tim Cowart, representing the Llano Countyplaintiffs, secured a Temporary Restraining Order prohibiting use of the lesson plans in Llano ISD for 14 days.
Attorney Rick Morris of Rogers, Morris and Grover, LLP, in Houston, representing Llano ISD, argued in the 33rd District Court in Burnet Friday that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case.
In particular, Morris said the plaintiffs failed to follow the proper grievance procedure outlined in section 7.057 of the Texas Education Code.
This law is for a citizen or group of citizens that feel they have been "aggrieved” by the school laws of the state or actions of their local school board of trustees, DeEtta Culbertson of the Texas Education Agency explained.
For more, see Tuesday’s Highlander or Wednesday’s Llano County Journal
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