Never mess with a brave Texas reporter who knows her rights.
A Houston reporter and her news crew faced down a police officer who tried to force her to leave a public meeting this week where a grade-fixing scandal at a local high school was being discussed.
When Katie McCall of KRIV-TV arrived at the meeting at Westbury High School she was met by an officer who informed her school officials asked that she be removed.
“They can ask us to leave but we don’t have to leave because this is a public meeting,” she told the officer. “We’re not going to leave voluntarily.”
McCall argued that removing her was a violation of freedom of the press and, despite an argument from the police officer which she posted to Facebook, she stood her ground and stayed for the meeting.
“They asked you to leave,” the officer said.
“I don’t care,” McCall fired back.
Despite repeated requests by the officer for her to leave McCall stood her ground.
“We have a free press in this country and I’m on public property,” she told the officer.
Notwithstanding the threats of removal McCall won out and stayed for the entire meeting.
The grade fixing scandal was first reported by KRIV-TV’s Greg GrooganAccording and an audit by the Houston Independent School District confirmed that principal Jason Catchings ordered 26 failing grades changed to an 80, which is a B.
Rhonda Skillern-Jones, President of the Houston Independent School District Board of Trustees called for the removal of the principal and any teacher involved in the grade fixing.
“I think everyone involved who knew about the situation, enabled the situation or actually perpetrated the grade changing should not be a part of our system,” she told KRIV-TV.
“I think kids who are allowed to move on without actually internalizing the curriculum are set up for failure,” she said.
Skillern-Jones did have praise for associate teacher Paula Collins who refused to change grades.
“I want to commend the teacher who was courageous enough to step forward with the information and certainly the advocacy group that brought it to our attention,” she said.
The case has been turned over to the Houston ISD Police Department for investigation into possible criminal charges.
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