Key Tenaha ISD departures spark controversy
Two departures by key Tenaha ISD staff members this week have created controversy in the community and on social media. Superintendent Linda Jacobs sudden resignation Tuesday and boys’ basketball coach Kadrian Bryant’s departure on Wednesday that he called, “… not of my own choosing,” have parents and residents asking questions.
At 10:31 p.m. Monday, Jacobs used the Tenaha Independent School District Facebook page to announce that she had tendered her resignation effective immediately.
Jacobs posted message read, “It is with great sadness that I’m writing to inform you that I submitted my resignation as your Superintendent at 5:10 p.m. today, effective immediately. I have spent seven years at TISD and have no regrets! I have worked hard to provide equity and excellence to ALL of the students and staff with zero regrets. I love you and I love our kids!
“I was the first to say that when I can’t be effective in my position then I will be the first to pass the baton to someone else. Thank you for your love and support! In order for the district to move forward and make progress for KIDS, it requires the board and the Superintendent to be on the same page and sharing the same vision. When this balance becomes unclear, progress gets halted. I’ll always choose to do what’s right for My Kids and My Staff and be able to hold my head high!”
Jacobs closed by encouraging readers of her post to “Keep doing what you do best …” saying they were some of the very best in the country.
Her message on the social media platform drew well wishes, compliments for her job performance, and offers of support as well as some expressions of frustration with the Tenaha trustees.
When contacted for comment, Jacobs said she would avoid making any statements at this time at the recommendation of her legal counsel.
Jacobs has been with the Tenaha ISD seven years and was approved by the Tenaha ISD for the superintendent’s job May 27, 2021.
Wednesday, Bryant tendered his resignation saying that his departure was “… not a decision of my own choosing.” According to Bryant, he was given the choice of “resigning or being let go.”
“I haven’t been given a reason,” Bryant said, “But I heard about some allegations against me as far as feeding the kids, middle school kids, after ballgames, just minimal stuff that I was scrutinized for. There were allegations of me being racist toward a ref, which is untrue. There’s not a racist bone in my body. There were just so many tactics that were used against me and my family.”
Bryant said one of the allegations he referred to concerned his use of school funds. Bryant denies that any school funds were used in an improper manner or for improper reasons.
A group of Tenaha residents gathered Thursday outside the school to express their displeasure with Tenaha ISD by staging a peaceful protest. When asked about their concerns, one protestor said they were there because of a “runaway school board.” Another said a growing group of parents and supporters of Tenaha ISD students feel “unheard and underrepresented by their school board.”
Protestors also said they were taken aback by Bryant’s forced resignation after he led the boys’ basketball team to a successful season that went four games into the postseason playoffs. “His success and sudden resignation have sparked questions by the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People),” said another, adding that the organization has reached out to the school with concerns, and “conversations with the Tenaha ISD are taking place.”
The Tenaha ISD said they had no comment, saying they may be willing to offer a statement following a special called board meeting Monday, March 28 at 5:30 p.m. in the boardroom of the Administration Office at 138 College Street in Tenaha.
Agenda items for the meeting include:
1. Call to Order---Welcome
2. Public Comment
3. Consider for Approval Bringing Back to the Table District Employees and Officers, Texas Government; Code §551.074 and Real Property, Texas Government Code §551.0724.
4. Executive Session: District Employees and Officers, Texas Government Code §551.074 and Real Property, Texas Government Code §551.072
a. Consideration of Superintendent's Recommendation Concerning Employment of Professional Personnel
* All Term and Probationary Contract Employees
5. Action Resulting from Closed Session
6. Comments by Board Members
(a.) Comments Regarding Current Agenda
(b.) Requests for Future Agenda Items