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Houston ISD teachers, unions frustrated over planning of professional development event at NRG Center

The union presidents blamed the issues on poor planning.

HOUSTON — Professional development is supposed to prepare Houston ISD educators for the new school year, but some teachers said this time around was chaotic.

Some teachers told KHOU 11 the professional development event at NRG Center was so overcrowded, many had to sit on the ground.

The halls at the center were packed full of HISD educators trying to get to their professional development trainings.

"That should be a fire hazard," said Houston Federation of Teachers President Jackie Anderson.

The trainings were previously done on campus. Before that, they were held at convention centers until the district got too big to hold centralized trainings.

"When I talked to one of the members she said people were pushing and she is short. That could have really ended badly," said Houston Education Association President Michelle Williams.

EMS was called out to the center to treat someone, but it's unclear what they were treated for.

The union presidents blamed the issues on poor planning. They said they felt as though it was a waste of money and time to rent the center for presentations and that their teachers are frustrated.

"One teacher emailed me and said welcome to 'The Hunger Games,' this is PD edition," Anderson said.

The district, however, painted a different picture on social media. The video they posted did not show chaos and the statement they sent us did not address teachers' concerns.

Read HISD's statement on the professional development event:

"HISD remains committed to ensuring all teachers have the support they need to provide quality instruction on the first day of school.

"HISD's initial professional development programming is scheduled to take place over two phases - Monda and Tuesday for elementary educators, and Thursday and Friday for middle school and high school educators."

Teachers and the union leaders hope the district reconsiders holding more trainings at the center.

"Having EMS and fire marshal called will open his eyes to the magnitude and logistics of what it takes to steer this ship, for lack of better term," Williams said.

We've reached out to the fire marshal's office but have not heard back as of the time this story was posted.

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