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The litigation filed against Beaumont ISD in the 9th Court of Appeals to compel the district to follow the law and order the election the same Board of Trustees voted on at the Feb. 21, 2013, meeting has now turned into multiple lawsuits, letter writing campaigns and allegations of racial motivations from all sides. Wednesday night, April 3, a very upset relative of one of the trustee candidates called The Examiner and subsequently came to our offices with two letters.

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A three-hour long Beaumont Independent School District Board of Trustees meeting held Thursday, March 21, ended with one trustee facing assault charges and the majority of the board voting to bring in two $375-an-hour Houston lawyers to ready for a legal battle at the Texas Supreme Court. 

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Once heralded as the best districting option for the stakeholders of the Beaumont Independent School District (BISD) by the agency’s Board of Trustees, the recently adopted redistricting plan is now being disavowed by those who fought the hardest to implement it. The change came after nearly a week of legal back-and-forth between the attorneys for BISD and those who say the district is operating outside of the Constitution.

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On any given day, Beaumont’s Jones-Clark Elementary School is bustling with activity. When company is expected, the atmosphere at the campus is only amplified. On a recent Friday, when Jones-Clark staff and students were expecting a list of the city’s who’s who, the energy was hardly containable.

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A once outgoing and precocious pre-teen is now disenchanted with the life that centers around her education, the product of bullying allowed to run amok, according to the child’s mother, Coretta Bean. The claims of the child and her parents, backed up by multiple reports filed at the school district and its policing agency, are that the 12-year-old has been the victim of sexual and physical harassment endured daily at Beaumont ISD’s Austin Middle School, a place where the girl spends the majority of her day.

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Four meetings in two days gave Beaumonters the opportunity to sound off on a number of issues pertaining to the community’s school district. What was offered to those in attendance was the good, the bad, and the ugly of what citizens really feel about their local school district and those who run it.

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Community members had two opportunities to voice concerns regarding the Beaumont Independent School District’s (BISD) proposed districting maps and now, during a meeting scheduled for Feb. 21, the Board of Trustees will have the final say on which scheme will be in effect for the 2013 voting season. 

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Students from six Southeast Texas school districts will compete in the District 22 Class 4A and Under Swimming Championships at the Thomas Center Natatorium at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31

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A special public meeting of the Beaumont Independent School District Board of Trustees will be held at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 10, to discuss, among other things, submitting a districting plan that would nullify the intent of voters who passed a measure to change the board’s current make-up in May 2011. The 2011 voter initiative directed the BISD board to change from the current process of selecting trustees via seven single member districts (7/0) to that of five single member districts with two at-large positions (5/2).

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The U.S. Department of Justice has denied the Beaumont Independent School District voters who elected to change the trustee make-up of the school board from seven single member districts to five single member districts with two at large representative seats (a 5/2 plan) when called to the polls in May 2011. According to the decision letter penned by Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, the reason for the DOJ decision is due to the retrogressive effect of instituting the change and in his opinion, racist motivations that potentially led to the change proposal in the first place.

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