Note: Carol L. Davis was acquitted Oct. 5, 2016, of a charge based on Killeen Independent School District's accusation.
A Killeen Independent School District parent is suing the district for personal damages after an altercation that happened two years ago, along with struggles her family has undergone trying to get special-needs education assistance.
Carol Davis, 42, filed a federal lawsuit Thursday claiming her civil rights were violated when she was arrested Aug. 2, 2012, for an incident that occurred July 9, 2012, between district staff.
Davis was arrested on assault charges by Killeen ISD police while she was on her way to her son’s special education hearing with the district, according to the lawsuit.
Special education hearings, which take place between the district’s lawyer, a parent’s lawyer and an officer from the Texas Education Agency, are used to determine if a student is getting the right amount of educational services.
“It’s a game and there’s a lot of cheating going on with it, and it’s at the cost of the child,” said Davis, referring to the lack of services being offered to her children.
Davis said she was trying to get her son’s education records because he was showing signs of having a disability, and the district refused to test him or release the records.
Davis has three children attending district schools, all with disabilities, she said. However, the district has only evaluated and determined one to be disabled.
In the incident leading up to her arrest, Davis went to the district’s office to pick up her son’s education records for the upcoming hearing. Davis stated in the lawsuit she was assaulted in the office of the deputy superintendent by Tom Schatte, Killeen ISD professional standards administrator, and Amy Foster, the district’s coordinator for compliance.
According to the lawsuit, Schatte and Foster assaulted Davis to prevent her from reporting their failure to evaluate children suspected of having a disability, violating the Individuals with Disabilities Act.
Staff had refused to release Davis’ son’s education records twice previously and were ordered to provide copies by the Texas Education Agency hearing officer, the lawsuit stated.
Davis was taken out of the building on a stretcher after the incident and subsequently arrested Aug. 2, 2012, on charges of assault with bodily injury.
Davis also accuses the district of failing to prevent bullying that resulted in one of her children suffering from a brain injury and shoulder surgery, using Child Protective Services as a form of harassment and placing a trespassing limitation on her that prevents her from getting to her children.
“If I’m found on district property, I can be arrested,” she said.
The investigation filed by the Killeen ISD police, however, differs greatly.
According to a police report at the time, Davis separated her son’s educational records into two piles — records she wanted copies of and those she did not. After review, employees attempted to take the records Davis wanted copied.
Davis subsequently grabbed the records and would not cooperate when employees said staff needed to make copies of the records for her to take them home, the report said.
After arguing about the price of copies, Davis told Schatte, who arrived on the scene after hearing staff argue, to get his hands off her. The report said no staff employee saw Schatte touch Davis.
Davis then pushed Schatte backward, causing him to hit a chair, file cabinet and a wall, the report said.
According to the report, 911 was called, and Davis was placed on a stretcher and taken to the hospital.
The trial for the assault case against Davis is set for September.
A hearing date on the lawsuit against the district has not been set.
Contact Courtney Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-501-7559