NECHES, Texas (KETK) – About 30 people showed up at Neches High School on Wednesday night to take part in what was billed as a Protect Our Children rally.
The rally was organized by Neches for Change, a group that is calling for the resignation or removal of Kimberlyn Snider, the principal of Neches Elementary School and the wife of Randy Snider, Neches school superintendent.
Mrs. Snider is under indictment on a felony charge and misdemeanor charges for allegedly interfering with a criminal investigation being conducted by Anderson County Sheriff’s Office.
Many of those at the protest held signs including one that read “Our Kids Deserve Better. A child held a sign that said, “Stand Up. Speak Out. Protect Us.”
Nathan Lightell held a sign that said “Stop Nepotism.” It was a reference to the fact that Mr. Snider is the superintendent and his wife is a principal.
Lightell said he has a young daughter and son and that he is not confident that as long as Mrs. Snider is principal his children would be in a safe and good learning environment at the elementary school.
“We are all here because we are trying to make some positive changes in the school,” he said.
Another protestor, who did not give her name, said she was taking part to represent the “victims” of Mrs. Snider. She said those victims include those she allegedly tried to persuade not to cooperate with authorities who are investigating a crime.
Kaitlin Scroggins is the head of Change for Neches groups. Scroggins said those affiliated with her group have complained that Mrs. Snider does treat all students fairly and has “bullied” some students.
On several occasions, members of the group have called on the school board to remove Mrs. Snider.
“They won’t listen,” Scroggins said. “I think they were hoping we would go away and this would all die down but we’re not going away. … We’re holding our public officials accountable and that is what we should be doing.”
The rally was held just prior to a Neches School Board meeting. Scroggins said that holding the rally at that time was a way to get the board’s attention. Many at the protest also attended the school board meeting.
Snider was charged last month with tampering with evidence and oppression in an ongoing sexual assault case. The victim in the case is not a student at Neches ISD.
Six days after the charges became public, the school board opted to not remove her as principal and instead said it was up Randy Snider to decide whether to dismiss his wife.
Snider chose to keep his wife on the job because it was in the best interest of the district, said a statement released by the school board president.
A few weeks later the school board voted to extend Mrs. Snider’s contract.
Scroggins previously told the board she believed Snider should be put on administrative leave “immediately. … Why should she be allowed to be around our children?”
Others have spoken up at school board meetings to defend Mrs. Snider. School employee Michael Owens said he had seen Snider’s compassion with children. Snider works to make the school “a great place,” he said.
Owens’ wife, Kimberly Owens, a third-grade teacher, has said that Mrs. Snider “has the children’s best interest at heart.”
Scroggins said that Change for Neches plans to continue efforts to have Mrs. Snider removed. She said that nearly 700 people have signed an online petition that calls for the school board to remove Mrs. Snider until at least her legal issues are resolved.