UPDATE: Cy-Fair ISD teachers once again required to report to campuses starting Aug. 18

Cy-Fair American Federation of Teachers members speak at a recent board meeting. (Screenshot courtesy Cy-Fair ISD)
Cy-Fair American Federation of Teachers members speak at a recent board meeting. (Screenshot courtesy Cy-Fair ISD)

Cy-Fair American Federation of Teachers members speak at a recent board meeting. (Screenshot courtesy Cy-Fair ISD)

Updated at 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 17

Cy-Fair ISD employees will be required to attend in-person professional development again starting Tuesday, Aug. 18, after the Texas Supreme Court granted the district's appeal to suspend a temporary restraining order filed by the Cy-Fair American Federation of Teachers late last week, according to an email sent to CFISD employees on Aug. 17.

Attorney General Ken Paxton said in an Aug. 18 statement the Harris County District Court did not have the authority to grant Cy-Fair American Federation of Teachers a temporary restraining order.

“Friday was supposed to mark the return to campus for Cy-Fair teachers and staff who were preparing to start the new school year and welcome back kids, until a trial court unlawfully ordered the campus shut down at the request of a teachers’ union. The trial court’s order exceeds its jurisdiction and grants relief contrary to the laws of Texas,” Paxton said. “Teachers’ unions have no authority to override the decisions of schools administrators about how to return to school safely.”

Elements of the case are still pending, and future updates will be provided as the story develops.

Originally posted at 10:36 a.m. on Aug. 17

On Aug. 14, a Harris County District Court judge granted Cy-Fair American Federation of Teachers a temporary restraining order stating that Cy-Fair ISD teachers do not have to be on campuses prior to Sept. 7 following pushback on the district's in-person professional development policy.

District officials have filed an appeal before the Texas Supreme Court, which is pending as of Aug. 16.

In the meantime, teachers and other staff previously required to attend in-person professional development have the option to take part in sessions remotely from home, according to an email sent to district staff Aug. 16.

“This is a win for safety, health and common sense," Cy-Fair AFT President Nikki Cowart said in a press release following the granting of the order. "It was unsafe to require teachers to come to school campuses for professional development and new teacher orientation—programs that can take place virtually.”

Professional development kicked off Aug. 14 and is slated to run through Sept. 4 leading up to the first day of school, Sept. 8.

When contacted for comment, district officials said would not speak on pending litigation.

Superintendent Mark Henry tweeted his support for district employees Aug. 15 as dozens of district employees claiming they want to work from campuses used the hashtag "#aftdoesntspeakforme."

By Danica Lloyd
Danica joined Community Impact Newspaper as a Cy-Fair reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a journalism degree from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. She became editor of the Cy-Fair edition in March 2020 and continues to cover education, local government, business, demographic trends, real estate development and nonprofits.


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