Donna ISD Approves New Policy on Due Process

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DONNA - A new policy on due process for all Donna ISD employees is set to be in place for the 2016-2017 school year. The new policy lays out how the district fires or reassigns employees.

Six current and former Donna ISD employees won a lawsuit against the district. All were reassigned to different jobs or had their wages cut. They said it was due to political retaliation.

A federal judge and jury agreed with the employees.

"We're hoping it'll prevent future lawsuits. It could have been resolved at an earlier point," said Donna ISD School Board President Albert Sandoval.

Sandoval said having a due process policy will protect employees and the district in the future. He said the new policy has been in the works for several years.

"It has nothing to do with the political retaliation lawsuit," Sandoval said.

A show of district employees applauded the new rules.

"Due process means every employee will be treated the respect they have earned when it comes to employment and compensation decisions," said Linda Estrada, Runn Elementary secretary and president of the Donna Texas State Teachers Association. "A worker cannot be fired without just cause, cannot be reassigned without reason."

The new policy details a three-step process for firing or reassigning employees.

McAllen ISD approved a similar due process two weeks ago.