Hallettsville ISD parents, residents start petition to remove administrators and coach

Three key employees in Hallettsville ISD are charged and accused of failing to report an allegation of abuse. Thursday night, community members gathered to express their concern.

The informal meeting that ended around 10 p.m., allowed parents to voice their concerns about the recent happenings.

Hallettsville High School Principal Darrin Alexander Bickham, Assistant Principal Scott Eugene Cottenoir, and head baseball coach Calvin Edward Cook were arrested regarding the failure to report a case of abuse occurring in March 2019.

The incident involved the school baseball team at an away game in Hondo.

This has enraged parents of the community, with many saying the time that has passed without them being notified is inexcusable.

“This incident happened awhile ago, but yet its just now coming out, when everybody at the school knew about it already, but they just want to keep it hush hush,” said Hallettsville High School Parent James Brooks.

“If something else happens are they going to say anything?” said Hallettsville ISD Parent Joslyn Williams. “Has something else happened and they haven’t said anything?”

All three employees are still working for the district after being booked into Lavaca County Jail on Tuesday and released the same day. Thursday evening, a group of around 30 parents and Hallettsville residents gathered at a local park to begin a petition.

The petition asks Hallettsville ISD to remove the employees from their positions and have no access to the campus until the investigation is completed.

“They should go back to their protocol as it is printed in ink, and go by that,” said Hallettsville Resident Jerry Steinhauer. “I’ve read it and there is sanctions that they need to impose, pretty much immediately.”

“I’m putting my ties, and put my hard earned work, and my hard earned life into this community, something is going to happen [because] I don’t want my son going to school with those same administrators,” said Hallettsville ISD Parent Jacob Jackson.

A main concern is safety. Another parent said, “I don’t feel my kids are safe. If the school didn’t report that, what else have the not reported?”

Parents fear there is too much injustice dealing with this case, due to those involved. Many parents shared their thoughts on the district in general.

They hoped for a Hallettsville ISD representative to join them at the gathering, however, no one showed up. Parents did add they will be presenting the petition at the special board meeting Saturday morning.

The Special Meeting of the Board of Trustees of Hallettsville ISD will be held Saturday, May 4th at 10 a.m. in the Administration Office Conference Room, 302 North Ridge St.

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Hallettsville ISD parents, residents start petition to remove administrators and coach