Indicted Neches Elementary School principal focus of Texas Education Agency probe

Education

AUSTIN, Texas (KETK) — Kimberlyn Snider, the principal of Neches Elementary School, is the focus of a probe by the Texas Education Agency’s Educator Investigation Division.

The investigation was launched in response to dozens of complaints filed against Snider, said a TEA media relations representative.

Snider, the wife of Neches ISD Superintendent Randy Snider, is under indictment on charges of tampering/fabricating physical evidence with intent to impair, which is a felony, and five counts of official oppression, which is a misdemeanor charge.

She allegedly interfered with an Anderson County Sheriff’s Office investigation of a report that a minor had been sexually assaulted. The sheriff’s office has said that the minor in question was not a student in the elementary school.

The TEA’s investigation involves Snider’s conduct as an educator. The TEA does not provide information on the nature of complaints against an educator nor information concerning investigations, the representative said.

TEA may take the following disciplinary actions against an educator’s certification:

  • Place restrictions on the issuance, renewal, or holding of a certificate;
  • Issue a reprimand;
  • Suspend an educator’s certification;
  • Revoke or cancel, which includes accepting the surrender of, a certificate without opportunity for reapplication;
  • Impose conditions or restrictions upon a certificate as deemed necessary.

The results of an investigation are made public only after disciplinary action has been finalized, says the TEA website.

More than 450 people have signed an online petition calling for the removal or resignation of Mrs. Snider.

“Like all others accused of crimes, she is innocent until proven guilty in the court of law,” reads the petition that was posted on change.org. “However this arrest and indictment comes after many years of abuse of power complaints, intimidation, grievances, retaliation efforts, even parents filing formal complaints with law enforcement. As parents we believe all school officials should be advocates for our children and she has proven over many years she is not an ally for all students.”

Last month, The Neches School Board voted to extend Mrs. Snider’s contract through June 2023.

On Feb. 8, the Neches School Board held an emergency session to take up the issue of Snider’s employment. Van Brown, president of the school board, read a statement that said the decision on whether the keep Snider on the job belonged to the superintendent — her husband.

At the meeting, some praised Mrs. Snider for being devoted to her staff and the school’s students. Others said she sometimes bullies students and that the board should remove her.

Brown said at the special meeting that Snider decided to keep his wife on the job “because he (Randy Snider) believes it is in the best interest of Neches ISD.”

Brown said at the time that the board agreed with Snider’s decision not to take disciplinary action against his wife.

After the grand jury found their was enough evidence against Mrs. Snider to warrant prosecution, Snider turned herself in to sheriff’s deputies and was booked into the Anderson County Jail. She posted bond and continued her job.

The Anderson County District Attorney’s Office now is in charge of the investigation into Mrs. Snider’s possible criminal wrongdoing. If Snider is convicted on all counts and receives the maximum sentence for each, she could face up to 15 years in prison.

Kelli Karczewski, the attorney who represents Neches ISD, previously said, “The administration, including Mrs. Snider, is cooperating with law enforcement and feel optimistic that with clarification the matter will be resolved expeditiously and without disruption to the educational environment of NISD students.”

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