Old Complaint Emerges as Navasota Trustees Discuss Principal

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Navasota school board members called Monday night's meeting on high school principal Brent Rumbo "informational," and the information they're gathering involves allegations of discrimination and intimidation for the man who has headed up NHS for just one year.

A large group of Navasota residents turned out for what was a meeting largely focused on matters other than high school principal Brent Rumbo. In fact, school board president Bob Blalock said their discussion behind closed doors would be one of fact-gathering in this case.

However, the NAACP's Navasota chapter president, James Harris, brought another issue to the table: a complaint from September 2006 made by parent Maggie Lira, who cited conversations with unnamed high school employees, parents and students who Lira says painted a picture of a principal who was intimidating and disrespectful to minorities. Replies from the school district to Lira's complaint stated the district was addressing any problems.

"Apparently, nothing has changed, because it's still going on," Lira said. Something needs to be done. I personally plan to take my complaint to the next level, which is TEA."

Trustees, however, say the next step is filing a complaint a level high in the district's system before TEA sees it. Harris says this past complaint is another reason the district needs to take action immediately.

"NAACP local chapter is asking the board president and school board to please get someone to investigate the allegations regarding the high school principal as a neutral party," Harris said. "The wheels on this wagon have fallen off."

In addition to the allegations that the school district is looking into, the Grimes County Da's office is also investigating the claims of four students who say Rumbo chased after them with an ax after those students made derogatory comments about Rumbo's wife.

Rumbo has admitted to some sort of incident happening, though details are no known.

A Grimes County grand jury could see that case by June 29.

The embattled principal did not want to comment Monday evening, but says he will address the allegations Tuesday.