Superintendent responds to bullying allegations

Sarah Sheikh, Staff Writer

Katy ISD Board President Ashley Vann  released a statement on Monday, March 26 regarding the accusations of bullying made by Greg Barrett  at the public speaking portion of a board meeting the previous week.

“As trustees to our children and their parents, our responsibility is to act on behalf of our community and judge our superintendent based on the totality of his record, his 27 years of service and the community as a teacher and administrator, not just on claims of what a 14 year-old boy is alleged to have done 40 years ago,” Vann said.

Superintendent Hindt also voiced his intentions and thoughts on the matter during the Board of Trustees meeting, as well as why he could not state his opinion at the time. Hindt denies any participation in Barrett’s bullying case, and commented on the events that took place in the meeting.

“Please know [that] my reaction, this past Monday night, was one of shock,” Hindt said. “I recognize that I am not a perfect person. I don’t think anybody in here really is. I do recognize that well. I understand the perception. Please know my reaction this past Monday night was one of shock and wasn’t one of disrespect or insensitivity.”

As the Board conveyed their firm support for the superintendent, Hindt also expressed his concern regarding those disparaging his reputation.

“To the hometown that raised me and now I am proud to serve, I regret that the negative attention that has been brought to this community. Ultimately, I will be judged by one person and that is who will judge me. That is God, my Lord and Savior. That’s who judges me,” Hindt said. “Moving forward, I pray and I ask everybody to pray that are continued efforts will provide a continued safe environment for our staff. I would like to thank this board for your unwavering support and I would like to thank the community that is here to support me as well.”

On March 19, Barrett, a former Katy student, brought up an instance of the bullying which place decades before.

“One day at lunch, I had my head shoved in a urinal, where it busted my lip,” Barrett said. “I had laid on the ground in the fetal position as the kids kicked me.”

Barrett said the bullying, instigated by his legal last name “Gay,” drove him to an attempt to take his life that day.

“Well I went home and I got the .45 out of my father’s drawer and put it in my mouth because at this point I had nobody. Nobody in the school system to help me,” Barrett said.

This statement was followed by Barrett accusing Hindt of being the individual who abused him in the restroom that day.

Barrett returned to the podium to challenge uncertainties, mentioning the witnesses that can recall the particular day. Superintendent Hindt made no comment and called up the next speaker.

The following day, Hindt released a statement regarding the accusations.

“It was difficult for me to listen to a gentleman Monday night recount a bullying incident he said occurred more than 35 years ago. As superintendent in three school districts in Texas, I have always tried to create an environment where every student is safe — physically and emotionally,” Hindt said. “But when an individual impugns my character and reputation as the instigator of those actions, I am disappointed because it simply is not true.”

Christopher Dolan, according to ABC 13 Eyewitness News, was present when Hindt was allegedly with Barrett in the bathroom.

“He was a bully and he let people know that he was in charge,” Dolan said. “Nobody messed with Lance Hindt, not at West Memorial Junior High and not at Taylor High School.”

According to Barrett, the reason he brought up this decades old instance was to shed light on bullying in the district. Barrett, who has children of his own in the Katy school system, wants to see bullying addressed.

The original video of the board meeting that was posted on reddit has over 200,000 views and on Twitter has thousands of retweets.