KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
May 11, 2018
By Jennifer Skelton and Katrina Katsarelis
Superintendent announces retirement and board votes yes to pursuing litigation at last night's meeting.
Proceeding with Lawsuit
At last night's meeting, the board of trustees voted unanimously to hire outside counsel to pursue litigation for defamation against the superintendent, board members and other employees of Katy ISD that have been harassed in the last few months.
The school board is going forward with a lawsuit to protect the district's reputation. Several board members stated that the bullying accusations were debilitating for students, faculty and Hindt even affecting hiring of candidates.
An attorney for the district said it's for that reason they feel it's necessary to spend what they need to pay for outside counsel. Attorneys would file defamation lawsuits on behalf of the district.
Hindt Announces Retirement Amid Heckling
Dr. Lance Hindt became emotional as he announced his plans to retire as of January 1, 2019. As he announced his plans to retire, a small group of hecklers began cheering and heckling loudly. One of the hecklers yelled "Merry Christmas!"
While some heckled, there were many supporters in the room appearing dismayed and some even began crying. Hindt stated that his highest professional honor was to come back to the place he was raised and become superintendent, but he has to put his family first now.
"In light of an organized and relentless and dishonest smear campaign against me, I cannot remain as superintendent of Katy ISD. My family is now my number one priority. They are innocent bystanders. This malicious campaign against me is hurting them severely and I cannot allow it any further," Hindt said. "I love Katy. But there is a vicious ugliness in the ruthless attacks that I and others have endured. My prayer is this community, the silent majority, comes together and never allows something like this to happen again."
“My wife and my children, they need me,” Hindt said. “In light of an organized, relentless and dishonest smear campaign against me, I cannot remain superintendent of Katy ISD while fulfilling those duties and still fulfill my sacred duty as a husband and father.”
See the Katy ISD video recording here.
Each board member addressed Dr. Hindt after his resignation expressing love and respect for Dr. Hindt. Many apologized that these attacks on him and his family have led him to resign but understood his decision. As each address was read in the board meeting, those who support Dr. Hindt were shocked and moved to tears. Those in the community that don't support him, continued yelling out from the audience and heckling during the entire meeting.
Vendetta Against Hindt
The campaign against Lance Hindt was initiated by a Katy ISD dad and internet marketing professional named Sean Dolan. Dolan started a social media page called, "A Better Legacy" under the guise to stop bullying but many noticed right away it seemed more like a Lance Hindt hate page. Prior to his accusations against Lance Hindt, Dolan surreptitiously recorded meetings with Katy ISD teachers. One of the recordings that Dolan openly posted on social media involved girls in his son's class pouring Fruit Loops cereal in Dolan's son's backpack. When Dolan didn't like the outcome of his son's "bullying" situation, many Katy ISD supporters believe that Dolan, who some has been referred to as a "media pimp" used his internet and social media marketing background to cyberbully the superintendent to quit. Dolan was in attendance at last night's meeting
Others in Fear of Cyberbullying
The board members told the story of how people in the community (the board did not give any names) have been scared into silence. Most people in the community support the superintendent and Katy ISD but after seeing how Dr. Hindt and his supporters were relentlessly attacked, they have been scared to come forward with their support.
Supporters of Dolan feel that he is bringing things to light in the district that need to address and the group plans to make as much noise as is needed to have their concerns addressed. Many of Dolan's social media followers don't live in Katy ISD but heard about the bullying controversy on social media and on news stations.
One of the overall sentiments stated by the board members was "Enough is Enough" of the attacks and cyber bullying that has cast a negative light on our community. It's time to take a stand against all forms of bullying.
In anticipation of the lawsuit, Dolan has started a gofundme page in an attempt to raise legal fees.