Bastrop ISD discrimination lawsuit dismissed

Bastrop High School
Bastrop High School (KXAN Photo)

BASTROP, Texas (KXAN) — A discrimination lawsuit brought forth in 2012 by a former Bastrop Independent School District guidance counselor against the district has been dismissed, according to school officials.

Bastrop ISD spokesman Donald WIlliams says there were no findings in Charlene Emanuel’s case, and she was ordered to pay $5,000 in court fees.

Emanuel filed a discrimination lawsuit in 2012 claiming she was demoted due to age and race. She told KXAN minority students were treated differently than white students and that she felt “forced to resign” when she was reportedly told to stop complaining about discrimination.

“I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to take a stand and make it stop.” said Emanuel in 2012. “It’s really sad when you’re doing a complaint – you’re filing a complaint – against your coworker. That’s really sad when you’re in the business of helping children but you’re harming children.”

This ruling comes on the heels of a federal investigation into the district that is still an open investigation. In 2013, federal investigators were on site after Bastrop High School football coaches were accused of telling Hispanic players to “run like they were crossing the border.”

Other allegations included a sixth-grade teacher stating, “All Black people are ghetto.” The Department of Education report also showed a principal accused of telling black students their personal TAKS scores were the reason the school was failing.

It also cited an allegation that teachers at Bastrop Middle School were allowed to eliminate black and Hispanic students from entering the National Honor Society if the teacher deemed them disrespectful or “having attitude.”

In-Depth: Noose sparks investigation at Bastrop ISD party

The district placed a Bastrop ISD employee on leave after making something that resembled a noose as a decoration for a Western-themed award ceremony in mid-June for Cedar Creek Middle School staff.

Bastrop ISD told KXAN that another staff member noticed the noose and alerted campus administrators, who removed it from the decorations.

The district says the campus staff were the only ones in attendance at the Wild West-themed award ceremony.

“While it appears that there was no malicious intent, Bastrop Independent School District takes concerns such as these extremely seriously and is currently conducting an in-depth investigation into the matter to ascertain the facts of the situation and whether or not any disciplinary action should take place,” district officials said in a written statement to KXAN.

In-Depth: Federal report on racial harassment

Nearly a year-and-a-half after the Department of Education traveled to Bastrop to investigate charges of racial harassment in their schools, the feds have still issued no findings.

Authorities came in after the NAACP produced a stack of complaints about harassment, insults and intimidation of black teachers, staff and students.

The district has since launched its own diversity training program. The district says the diversity training it launched for staff and faculty in 2014 has been going well and will continue through the fall. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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