Complaint filed against principal in Everman school district

05/05/2014 11:01 AM

05/05/2014 11:02 AM

Editor’s note: This article contains graphic and explicit language.

An Everman school district principal is accused of using inappropriate language to describe the staff and students in a series of text messages with her administrative staff, according to an ethics complaint filed with the state.

The complaint filed by the United Educators Association says that Powell Intermediate School Principal Mya Asberry made the “demeaning” and “degrading” comments about teachers and students with three members of her leadership team.

“There have been people at various times who have talked and shared concerns about her tone and inappropriate language,” said Steven Poole, executive director of the United Educators Association in Fort Worth, who made the complaint.

The complaint is based on screen grabs of text messages sent among members of the administrative team at Powell, Poole said. The screen grabs were given to Poole by a staff member.

The text messages under the name “Asberry Asberry” can be attributed to the principal, Poole said.

One message from “Asberry Asberry” said that it’s “too bad our kids don’t have good teachers who will even research and use the resources they are provided! Time to go around them!”

Another, again from “Asberry Asberry,” says: “Boy those Spanish ones don’t look good? Perhaps we should try ENGLISH!”

“I was just flabbergasted when I saw what she was writing to her administrative team,” said Poole, who mailed the complaint Friday.

Asberry and Everman school district Superintendent Jeri Pfeifer did not respond to phone and email requests for comment.

Poole is alleging that Asberry violated the state Educators’ Code of Ethics, claiming that her comments are “demeaning to teachers” and “degrading to students.”

He also alleges that she “encouraged the use of an application based messaging service outside of the district approved communications (email, etc.) to avoid public scrutiny of her unprofessional comments under the Texas Public Information Act.”

The discussions appear to revolve around individual teachers and the performance of their students on state-mandated tests.

Powell, which is 90 percent economically disadvantaged, was rated as a school that “met standard” during the 2012-13 state accountability ratings and earned academic achievement distinctions.

Asberry is one of 10 Texas educators who is a 2014 National Distinguished Principals Finalist, according to the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association.

Among the criteria for the award is to show “ways in which the principal’s leadership has benefited curriculum, staff morale, community support, student interest and the learning environment.”

The recipient of the National Distinguished Principals award is expected to be announced this month. The winner will receive $10,000 and represent Texas in a national contest in Washington, D.C.

Asberry served as principal of Ray Elementary School in Everman before being named principal at Dan Powell Intermediate .

In one message sent from a member of the administrative team to “Asberry Asberry,” she is urged to hold staff members “accountable.”

“Asberry Asberry” responds: “They not gon [sic] f--- me out of this award!”

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