School Teacher Expelled
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Jul 01, 2015
You have to wonder what is happening on
school campuses these days. Why some students
act the way they do; why some turn
Over the years there has been one tragic campus
incident report after another: Someone entering a
school campus, going into a classroom and causing
harm and destruction. To put it bluntly, young people
have been killed for no reason.
There is an enormous focus on the safety and security
of the campus, the students, staff and teachers.
Then, something like this happens:
In Nevada (Nuh-VA-duh), Texas, sits Community
Independent School District (CISD). The district is
located in the southeast portion of Collin County,
and is about 30 miles northeast of Dallas. The growth
of this area has been substantial over the past few
years. CISD comprises the towns of Copeville, Josephine,
Lavon and Nevada, and understandably, citizens
take great pride in their schools.
At McClendon Elementary School, a teacher was
suspended after locking a student out of her classroom
that was allegedly threatening to kill her. Students
in the classroom, said the student outside “kept
banging on the door and yelling at us. I was worried
but I wasn’t crying, most of the kids were crying.”
For locking the classroom door, Fourth Grade
teacher Judy Stough was suspended.
Mike Sheperd, CISD school board president, said
this after refusing the opportunity for an interview.
“The safety of our staff and students remains a priority
and please understand that it is our practice to
maintain confidentially in matters regarding CISD
staff and students.” I get the safety concept quite well,
and, of course, there should be some degree of confidentiality.
However, if the outcome were different,
we would all know what really happened by now, and
where the weak link is.
I would suggest that Judy Stough is a very strong
link, and was protecting her students. Apparently, the
young man standing outside the classroom has a history
of causing problems, and in this case, banging on
the classroom door, and shouting the he was “going to
[expletive] kill,’ the teacher doesn’t set very well for me.
Critics of locking the door said the teacher should
have walked the student down to the office to visit
with administrators. I think that if someone threatens
to kill you, you don’t walk them down to the office.
You call for help, which is what Stough did, but no
one in the office picked up the phone.
Parents in the school district have praised Stough
for protecting her students from this boy. School officials
apparently disagreed because a suspension was
handed out pretty quickly for what school officials
said was “escalating the incident” when her students
said quite the opposite.
Students interviewed on local television said the
teacher handled the situation exactly how she should
have handled it. The next day, some parents kept
their children home, and they will stay at home until
the teacher is reinstated and the problem student is
removed. Of course, holding a student from school
probably isn’t the answer, but parent Connie Wilson
said, “I would just rather pay truancy and make
sure she’s safe than send her to school and let her get
hurt.”Apparently Stough sent out a couple of text messages
to other teachers, the messages reading, “Scares
the hell out of my kids. One about to pee her pants.”
In a phone call to acting superintendent Jeff
Chambers a few days later, he said that it is the district’s
policy not to talk about personnel matters.
“However, all students are safe, and at no time during
this incident were any students at risk.” Of course
they weren’t at risk; Stough locked the door.
Stough was quick thinking enough to lock the door
and seek help. She took her job seriously enough to
protect her students. We’ve seen the other side of the
coin all too often when a student resorts to violence. It
is then, after an incident, which people are saying, “If
we had done this, or that.…” Too late then.
Parents of students at McClendon Elementary
have had communications with the district administration
in a closed door meeting. The outcome of this
meeting is apparently secret because no one is talking.
Stough declined a request for an interview.
Connie Miller Maestas Wilson wrote on her Facebook
page that the meeting was worthless. “They gave
us nothing but empty promises, and guarantees. They
would not promise us that this child that threatened
to kill our children would not be in the school when
they start counting our children absent.”
Jimmy Dyess, another parent within the district,
said, “I think it [the meeting] was a lot of rhetoric
This seems like a pretty easy call to me. Stough
protected her students from what seemed like potential
harm. If somebody said they were going to kill
you, wouldn’t you take that threat pretty serious?
I sure would.
This article originally appeared in the July 2015 issue of Security Today.