KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
February 20, 2020
By Jennifer Miko
R.C. Simmons has dropped out of the race for the Katy ISD Board of Trustees position 3 against Ashley Vann. He said his 17-year-old daughter was harassed at her school by an adult, and then he received a racist email.
R.C. Simmons was running for Position 3 for the Katy ISD Board of Trustees. He said he ultimately withdrew from the race because an adult harassed his teenage daughter at her school.
Concerned for Kids' Safety
“I dropped out to protect my babies,” says Simmons. “I’m a single dad and I had a choice to make. It wasn’t a hard choice at all - it’s hurtful. I couldn’t take that risk of someone attacking my kids. What I care about is my kids being safe, and feeing safe.”
Candidate Receives Racist Message
An unknown source sent Simmons an email message defacing his Facebook campaign logo. The "N-word" replaced the word Trustees, and Simmons' image was replaced with a black-face caricature.
Source: R.C. Simmons' Facebook post
Simmons admits he doesn’t know the people who sent the racially charged email.
“I thought somebody was joking, I normally don’t open attachments, but this was embedded in the body of the email.”
The email was sent via ProtonMail, an encrypted email service that offers a confidential platform and protects the privacy of its users. Simmons traced the IP address to the company’s headquarters in Switzerland. He believes whoever sent this email has some IT experience or was given advice from someone who does.
Simmons currently has an attorney investigating the email and said they will present their findings to the sheriff’s office.
"Racism is not new to my family, it’s not new to me,” says Simmons. “It’s not even ignorance, it’s true stupidity and malice. Racism isn’t something you’re born with it’s something that’s taught. It needs to stop.”
Toxicity in the School District
Simmons added that this current climate is toxic for the school district.
“Writing the 'N-word' on a piece of paper means nothing to me,” says Simmons. “The racial part hurts. Does it affect my life? No, it doesn’t - because I won’t let it. They’re not going to stop. Racism is going to be there, the word is going to be there, and I can numb myself and not function, but I refuse to do that.”
“I don’t understand, it’s the school board, it’s not Congress, you don’t get paid,” says Simmons. “We’re supposed to come together and talk about the issues that affect our children, instead of talking about the issues that affect us as grownups. It’s a sad state of affairs that we’re in."
Opponent Denounces Hate Campaign Toward Simmons
His only opponent, Ashley Vann, will win the election by default because the deadline for applicants and write in candidates has passed. Vann issued a statement strenuously denouncing the hate campaign toward Simmons in a message on her Facebook page.
Simmons is the fourth candidate to drop out of the race. The current Katy ISD Board president Courtney Doyle dropped out of the Position 4 race last Friday and Allen Leon Wortham Jr. dropped out of the Position 4 race on Tuesday and Brandy Snyder dropped out from Position 5.