Teacher sues HISD over cheating scandal

A teacher involved in last year's alleged cheating scandal is suing HISD.

HOUSTON - A teacher involved in last year's alleged cheating scandal is suing HISD.

For Elsa Rodriguez, starting a new year of teaching is bittersweet. She still has some unfinished business from the last year.

"I want to have my reputation back," Elsa Rodriguez said. "I want to clear my name.

She's a veteran educator who was reassigned this year from HISD's Jefferson Elementary to teaching without a class at Barrick Elementary.

She's also constantly reminded about the alleged cheating scandal that made headlines last November.

"Usually they ask me what school did you work before and I say Jefferson," Rodriguez explained. "They look at me like oh, you are one of them."

She was one of 16 teachers pulled from Jefferson classrooms last November accused of giving students answers to the STAAR standardized tests.

Rodriguez said that's impossible because she wasn't' even at school on testing day.

"They just didn't give a damn," said Rodriguez's attorney Larry Watts. He shared attendance records that show Elsa was on extended medical leave before, during and after the testing.

Watts said his client was injured after being hit by a drunk driver.

"I think that it is probably evidence of the greatest callousness I've ever seen," Watts told us.

HISD officials won't discuss Elsa's case only confirming that all 16 Jefferson teachers either resigned, some with a year's pay or were reassigned like Rodriguez.

Even though she was offered a new contract, this veteran teacher is not getting an explanation about what happened.

Rodriguez is filing state and federal lawsuits against HISD this week. She wants a jury to decide how much money she should get.

She also wants her job back at Jefferson Elementary and more than anything else, an apology.


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