The Watchful-eye files Discrimination Complaint with the Office of Civil Rights on the Behalf of Minority Children and Parents of Cedar Hill, Texas
Author FH jr, the founder of The Watchful-Eye filed a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights located in downtown Dallas, Texas. The complaint with the OCR details a systemic system in the Cedar Hill Independent School District where minority children, parents, and employees were denied their basic civil rights. Several parents including James, and Dr. Monica Lewis, Jeanne Hill-Braden, Tonya Watson, DeMarcus Benson, and Author FH jr. are alleging that their civil rights were violated by Cedar Hill Independent School District.
After months of protesting, and calling for the removal of Cedar Hill High School Principal Tammi Mariani, and Bessie Coleman Middle School Principal Constance Ramirez for abusing their positions as administrators, a group comprised of parents, students, and former counselor/author FHjr. decided to take matters into their own hands by filing a civil rights violations with the Office of Civil Rights.
In the complaint the group made allegations ranging from the Cedar Hill Independent School District’s lack of institutional control over it’s Athletic Program, preventing minority parents from filing criminal complaints, failure to report suspected abuse of minority children to Texas Child Protective Service (CPS), interfering with the school district’s grievance process, retaliation by school officials, and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
According to the OCR complaint, the Cedar Hill ISD has been using it’s internal school police department to prevent minorities from filing charges against White Cedar Hill School District’s Staff who are also a part of the Cedar Hill Athletic Department, along with members of the Cedar Hill ISD Central Office who commit criminal acts against minority children, parents, and employees.
Cedar Hill ISD Defensive Coordinator Steven Lemely and Baseball coach Johnathan Mullins were accused of assaulting minority students including former students, and recent Cedar Hill ISD graduates Demarcus Benson, along with two female students including Adjane’s Latimer the daughter of James, and Dr. Monica Lewis who are Cedar Hill Parents, taxpayers, and supporters of the Cedar Hill Independent School District.
According to Dr. Lewis, Cedar Hill High School Principal Tammi Mariani engaged in a cover up that allowed the two coaches to go without what appears to be no form of punishment involving two separate incidences which has inflamed the parents, the students, and the black community of Cedar Hill.
Coaches became comfortable abusing minority students in what appears to be a lack on institutional control by the Cedar Hill Athletic Department, and its Athletic Coordinator Gina Farmer who said that the matter will just blow over if the school district simply wait the parents out.
A internal investigation conducted by the Cedar Hill ISD Chief of Police Richard Collier led to no charges being filed against Defensive Coordinator Steven Lemely although supporting documents supplied by students, teachers, and four members of the Cedar Hill Security Staff detailed the attack, and threats made by Coach Steven Lemely which was filled with profanity made towards former student Demarcus Benson and his parents following a October senior field trip to visit a haunted house in Terrell, Texas.
Lemely despite being told no by his supervisor Assistant Principal Patrick Nash, ordered that the school bus being used to transport the students back to Cedar Hill ISD pull over on the interstate at 2:00 am, and after the bus pulled over on the interstate, Coach Steven Lemely assaulted student Demarcus Benson and attempted to throw Benson off the bus in the middle of nowhere.
Another parent named Tonya Watson described a disturbing incident that took place at Bessie Coleman Middle School where the husband of Cedar Hill School District’ Athletic Director Gina Farmer’s Administrative Assistant who was a white male, and teacher made what Ms. Watson described as a sexual advancement, and sexual harassment towards her minor child.
According to Ms. Watson the incident was completely covered up by Cedar Hill School District Administrators Kim Lewis, and Shana Nix, and the white male teacher who made sexual advances towards her daughter was not disciplined.
The teacher was allowed to returned to the class room after being out on vacation for three days and was allowed to remain in the class room in his teaching capacity until his retirement at the end of the 2011 school year. Her daughter remained in the class until Ms. Watson demanded her removal along with an investigation into the teacher’s actions.
According to Ms Watson Director Kim Lewis, and H. R. Director Shana Nix prevented her from filing a complaint, and possible criminal charges against the white male teacher, and she never received any type of investigative summary regarding the matter, nor did she hear from school officials regarding her filing of her complaint against the teacher.
Tonya Watson attempted to file criminal charges with the Cedar Hill Police Department only to be directed back to the Cedar Hill ISD Police which was under the supervisor of Director of School Operations Mr. Kim Lewis who refused to take action.
The OCR complaint also alleged that the Cedar Hill Independent School District created a process that would protect the district’s reputation at the expense of minority children, parents, and employees by forcing all complaints including suspected act of criminal activity by school staff to be addressed through the district’s grievance process, thereby circumventing a legitimate due process.
The school district prevented the minority parents from filing criminal complaints against school staff, and after being forced to utilize the district’s grievance process which officials often manipulated the outcome, Individuals were later informed that time-lines for seeking a remedy to their issues had exhausted, thereby violating the Civil Rights of minority individuals seeking a fair and equal opportunity to address legitimate issues within the Cedar Hill School District.
Others are alleging that the Cedar Hill School District has condone a type of intimidation, and retaliation against minority parents, students and employees under the Americans with Disability Act where Principals like Constance Ramirez of Bessie Coleman Middle School, and members of the Cedar Hill Special Education Department denied Services as a means of retaliation against those who utilize the school district’s grievance process, or complain about administrative staff.
According to parent Jeanne Hill-Braden when she met with Bessie Coleman Middle School Principal Constance Ramirez in August of 2010 about special education services for her child including what were listed as accommodations to ensure quality education, she was ensured by Principal Constance Ramirez that all services for her child would be in place prior to the beginning of the academic school year. Ramirez never shared any information with her staff, and the child’s teachers about expected services for the child, therefore the parent go upset when her child’s need were not being met by Bessie Coleman Middle School.
Ms Braden later filed a complaint with Central Administration regarding a meeting she attended with Principal Constance Ramirez and staff. Ms. Braden admitted to becoming upset and used profanity while advocating for her child by uttering the word “bullshit” during the meeting that was stopped by Principal Constance Ramirez.
After filing a complaint against Constance Ramirez with Central Office, Braden Hill was asked to attend what she was told to be a special education meeting to discuss services for her child, but upon her arrival she was surprised by a waiting Cedar Hill School District Resource Officer who issued her a citation for disorderly conduct on the behalf of Bessie Coleman Principal Constance Ramirez.
Cedar hill Director of Operations Kim Lewis, Superintendent Horace Williams, and Members of the Cedar Hill Board of Trustees were notified of Principal Constance Ramirez’ abusive tactics by Hill-Braden, and such tactics would later become a standard practice by Principal Constance Ramirez against those who filed complaints against her including former Counselor/Author FHjr.
Cedar school officials including Executive Director of Human Resources Shana Nix, and Director of School Operations Kim Lewis refused to investigate Principal Constance Ramirez’ actions which involved staging false meetings in order to retaliate against members of the community, as well as employees who complained against her.
In a similar incident, former Counselor/Author FHjr whose real name is Frank Hammond filed a grievance against Bessie Coleman Middle School Principal Constance Ramirez for refusing to grant him accommodations for Dyslexia.
Ramirez staged a fake meeting similar to that of Jeanna Hill-Braden with regards to Hammond where she, and math teacher Sallian McDaniel approached Hammond and spoke with him about starting a district intervention program designed to help with Cedar Hill School District students who may be suicidal.
Ramirez asked Hammond about some students he had worked with in the past who had expressed having thoughts of committing suicide. Hammond provided names, and situations of some of his students he had worked with, and within an hours Principal Constance Ramirez approached two of the students, and convinced them to recant their stories of sharing suicidal thoughts with Counselor Hammond.
Principal Ramirez with the help of H.R Director Shana Nix had Hammond immediately placed on administrative leave, and later fired for making false statement on a official document with the blessing of the entire Cedar Hill School Board of Trustees. Cedar Hill School District Central Administrators including Cedar Hill ISD Police Chief Richard Collier, and Director Kim Lewis refused to investigate what Principal Ramirez did to Hammond, even after he submitted a complaint alleging numerious offenses committed by Principal Constance Ramirez. Cedar Hill H.R. Director Shana Nix attempted to used the sucide incident to blackmail Hammond into resigning, and after he refused, he recieved a signed letter from Superintendent Horace Williams stating that the investigation of Hammond was complete.
No investigative summary, or report was ever furnished by the school district regarding Principal Constance Ramirez’s fake meeting which led Hammond’s ouster from the school district.
The Cedar Hill School District administrative staff including Superintendent Horace Williams, Shana Nix, Kim Lewis, along with members of the Board of Trustees had knowledge of a similar complaint filed against Principal Constance Ramirez for staging a false meeting in order to retaliate against parents and staff, but failed to take action to stop her, instead Constance Ramirez was awarded Principal of the Year for her actions.
The Cedar Hill Independent School District has been engaging in an educational environment where separate but equal is the norm, and where white employees are not held to the same standards as minorities.
White employees who abuse minority children go unpunished by Cedar Hill administration, and there is no consequences when white employees failed to perform their duties, and in fact it was standard practice in Cedar Hill ISD for a minority employee to be written up by minority supervisors for duties that white employees failed to perform.
Director Kim Lewis failed to take actions with regards to any matters where white employees were abusing minorities, and where minority administrators abused, and retaliated against minority students, parents, or employees, but was quick to render aide with any issues that affected the white employees of the Cedar Hill Independent School District, thus, “Separate, but Equal.”
Equal blame must also fall at the feet of Minorities in leadership positions such as Superintendent Horace Williams, HR. Director Shana Nix, Homer Carter, and their minority subordinates who took part, and helped to implement an atmosphere that was hostile to minorities such as parents, students, and employees for the simply sake of maintaining their high salaries at the risk of their self respect as human being.
I am reminded by these simple, but very strong words by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, in his letter from a jail cell in Birmingham Alabama in April 1963 some 6 months before my birth. ” freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”
Parents in Cedar Hill, Texas pay their fair share of taxes, and they support the Cedar Hill Independent School District. The Cedar Hill ISD make thousands of dollars off the backs of minority athletes every year, therefore minorities deserve to be treated in a fair an equatable manner by the Cedar Hill School District.
The thought of calling for a walk out of all minority athletes from Cedar Hill ISD athletics may be an option if Principal Tammi Mariani, Coaches Steven Lemley, and Johnathan Mullins, along with members of the Cedar Hill ISD Police Department including Kim Lewis, and Richard Collier are not removed from office, and an immediate independent investigation is opened into the actions of Cedar Hill School Officials Shana Nix, Homer Carter, and Constance Ramirez for retaliation, and creating a hostile environment towards minorities.