NAACP files lawsuit against HISD

HOUSTON - The Houston Independent School District is facing a lawsuit over its recent decision to overhaul the direction of Jones High School. 

The NAACP wants a judge to issue a temporary restraining order to prevent the district from moving forward with any changes.

The suit accuses the district of violating the Texas Open Meetings Act during the March 13, 2014  school board meeting when a vote was taken regarding the future of Jones High.

According to the lawsuit, HISD posted the agenda item as  "approval to consolidate Jesse Jones High School" but later presented and passed a plan for "repurposing" the school, which caught parents and community leaders by surprise. 

The suit says HISD failed to give the public 72 hours notice of the boards intent to place the "repurposing" of Jones High School on the agenda.

"The community wants to keep Jones High School the way it is without repurposing. They made that very clear at the meeting," said James Douglas, who is named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

In a statement released Wednesday, an HISD spokesman said the district had not yet been served with the petition.

"However it is our practice to carefully post and take action in compliance with the Open Meetings Act. We are excited to expand the district-wide Futures Academy program this fall and offer two new academies for students," read the statement. "Students who attend The Futures Academies at Jones will have two high-wage, high-demand career pathways to choose from: Health Sciences or Construction Technology. Health Sciences will give students the opportunity to work toward becoming a certified nurse assistant or certified personal trainer, with the possibility of going on to earn advanced degrees in nursing or physical therapy. Construction Technology will offer students the opportunity to work toward becoming an industrial electrician or HVAC technician, with the potential to earn advanced degrees in construction technology. Both programs will operate in partnership with Houston Community College."

A court hearing is set for Tuesday, March 13 at 2 p.m.

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