Kirbyville CISD challenging open records request

Sara Leon, attorney for Kirbyville CISD

The Kirbyville school district is seeking the Texas Attorney General's opinion regarding the release of documents related to high school principal Dennis Reeves requested by KFDM.

Reeves had been the principal until he resigned abruptly in a May 23 meeting with superintendent Tommy Wallis and assistant superintendent Georgia Sayers. He then apparently committed suicide while sitting inside of his truck in the school parking lot.

The principal's death has rocked the small community about 50 miles north of Beaumont.

Citizens have called for Wallis' and Sayers' removal. Reeves' family has taken legal action against the district and a dozen of its officials.

The district's attorneys are seeking an opinion on eight separate line items, including minutes from the last school board meeting, which would be considered the most basic of public documents.

This is a list of what KFDM has requested from the Kirbyville Consolidated Independent School District:

  • A copy of Mr. Dennis Reeves' contract, which was extended for two years in February
  • The breakdown of the board of trustees' vote on Mr. Reeves' contract extension
  • A copy of your termination policies and procedures
  • Policy and procedures concerning romantic relationships between staff members (Is there a specific policy forbidding relationships between staff members?)
  • The district's procedures for handling crisis and threats on campus
  • Minutes from the last board meeting
  • All emails between Superintendent Tommy Wallis and board members concerning Mr. Reeves, dating back to April 1, 2017 to the present
  • The statement that Marcia Morgan typed about her alleged relationship with Mr. Reeves

KFDM filed the request on June 5.

The purpose is to better understand the circumstances which led to Reeves' death.

An attorney for Reeves' family has successfully argued for a temporary restraining order compelling the district to preserve documents and records from electronic devices from certain employees and board members, including Wallis, Sayers and board president Chad George.

The school district is appealing a judge's decision to grant that order.

The exceptions to the Texas Public Information Act cited by KCISD deal with confidential information and "information relating to litigation of a civil or criminal nature to which the state or a political subdivision is or may be a party or to which an officer or employee of the state or a political subdivision, as a consequence of the person's office or employment, is or may be a party," among other similar exceptions.

The school board meets again Monday, June 19 at 7 p.m.

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