HOUSTON — Demands to reinstate now former interim Houston Independent School District superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan are mounting.
On Saturday, elected officials on federal, state, and local levels called the HISD board’s decision unacceptable.
They gathered in unity to call for her job back.
“Dr. Lathan is a proven leader," said Rhonda Skillern-Jones, president of the HISD school board. In four years she has taken our district from 54 improvement required schools to be taken over to four schools taken over.”
The group, calling themselves “Protect Our Progress” coalition, said Dr. Lathan is highly qualified to be in this position.
They want to open an investigation into what led to the board to remove her from her duties.
“This issue is our school district for the first time in months is stable and moving on an upward trajectory and why we would disrupt that to put in an interim for an interim for six months does not serve our children well,” Skillern-Jones said.
The coalition believes the board members who voted to remove Dr. Lathan colluded and violated open meeting laws.
They’re considering legal action.
“There is no reason to remove her," Skillern-Jones said. "None has been given and none exists to remove her to bring in someone who is not familiar with what is happening here for six months.”
Dr. Abe Saavedra, who was HISD’s superintendent from 2004 to 2009, is slated to take over the position.
Attempts to reach board members who voted to remove Dr. Lathan have been unsuccessful. HISD board trustee Diana Davila, who made the initial motion to remove Dr. Lathan, said Friday Dr. Saavedra’s experience will benefit the district.
“Bringing in that knowledge and experience and him knowing HISD having been a superintendent here prior to that, that would give us a great way to start versus there being a huge learning curve,” Davila said.
While they hope for a peaceful resolution in the near future, the coalition also wants to stay focused on what matters most.
Texas 18th Congressional District Representative Sheila Jackson Lee said whether you are for an individual or not, "we ask you to stand for our children.”