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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Dallas School Trustee Discusses Threatened Arrest of Unmasked Citizen

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An interview with District 1 Trustee Edwin Flores revealed board trustees of the Dallas Independent School District are responsible for the district mask mandate and the subsequent actions of school staff. That’s because the superintendent answers to the trustees.

DISD’s September 23 trustee board meeting became a flashpoint for two incidents. First, DISD police threatened citizen Tami Brown Rodriguez with arrest if she didn’t wear a mask or leave. The charge against her would have been criminal trespass. The other incident was when citizen Lauren Davis made serious allegations to trustees that the district has been segregating unmasked children, and informed them that her daughter had received a death threat due to being unmasked at school.

Texas Scorecard sent inquiries to every trustee; only Flores replied. The following day, Texas Scorecard interviewed him for more than an hour to learn the following:

Who ultimately is responsible for the policy that unmasked citizens can be threatened with arrest if they don’t leave? Who gave the order for Rodriguez to be threatened with arrest?

Mask Mandate

Currently, Dallas ISD mandates masks. We asked Flores if it is the board’s policy to threaten citizens with criminal trespass unless they mask or leave. “We do have a code of conduct for our meetings, and currently, because of the mask requirement, that would be part of the code,” he replied.

“The trustees approve the policy that says we have an orderly board meeting,” Flores said. “The superintendent sets the policy regarding masks for the school district.”

He explained trustees’ duties and who Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa answers to. “[Trustees] only do three things: We approve the policies of the district, we approve the budget, … and we hire and fire the superintendent.” Last year, the board extended Hinojosa’s contract for five years.


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