Two pending lawsuits were approved for settlement in votes passed unanimously after the Killeen Independent School Board of Trustees reconvened from closed session at 10:51 p.m. Tuesday.
One lawsuit was filed by Kevin Gable on behalf of his daughter, who was bullied and sexually harassed over a three-year period while a student at Rancier Middle School.
Gable’s lawsuit sought monetary damages for his daughter’s mental anguish, physical impairment and other expenses.
The lawsuit also sought to have KISD ordered to adopt an anti-bullying and harassment program as provided by a third party, such as the Anti-Defamation League or the Southern Poverty Law Center, along with other policies.
Additionally, the lawsuit requested bullying assessments be completed at each KISD campus by an independent third party.
KISD did not release any details of the settlement at the meeting, including what monetary amount was agreed upon or what new programs or policies KISD has implemented, if any.
Martin Cirkiel, the attorney who represented Gable, did respond to inquiries regarding the settlement, only to say: “We can’t comment.”
The second KISD vote was in regard to a lawsuit filed by Natalie and Tim McGrew, whose son has autism. When KISD denied the McGrew’s son his right to certain special education services, the McGrews contacted the Texas Education Agency, requesting a special education due process hearing.
That three-day administrative hearing took place in April.
The TEA hearing officer decided in the McGrew’s favor, with KISD ordered to reimburse the McGrews for their son’s tuition at a private school, attorney’s fees and other expenses. As of the lawsuit’s filing date, Aug. 14, 2017, attorney’s fees amounted to over $140,000.
The lawsuit was filed by the McGrews because KISD did not comply with the TEA’s decision.
The KISD board did not release any details of the settlement at the meeting.
When contacted regarding the settlement, Sonja Kerr of the Cuddy Law Firm, who represented the McGrews, said, “No comment.”