Royce City superintendent fired, but ...

Royce City superintendent fired, but board won't say why

There are 141 comments on the Dallas Morning News story from Jul 27, 2006, titled Royce City superintendent fired, but board won't say why. In it, Dallas Morning News reports that:

After months of investigation into whether Royse City school Superintendent Mike Harris improperly took school district gasoline for his personal use, trustees fired him Thursday morning.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Dallas Morning News.

Coy-slaton

Lubbock, TX

#21 Aug 22, 2006
Post above has the city wrong.
My name is Earl

Grand Prairie, TX

#22 Aug 23, 2006
Coy wrote:
Mike Harris is a very honorable Christian man and is being slandered in the press.He did a fine job in Slaton and we were sorry to lose him.
If the people of Slaton wanted to keep him they could have kept him, all they had to do was cough up the money. He came to Royse City for money I guess therefore if you in Slaton wanted him more money would have kept him there.
Steven Jones

Lamesa, TX

#23 Aug 24, 2006
There is so much that could be said to anyone or everyone interested in the character of Mike Harris. Jami is right on.
I live in Slaton, and his daughter is a friend of my daughter. Mike and I spent a lot of time together while he was here, and continue to see each other from time to time. We coached a girls basketball team together for two summers and during that time I learned a lot about the man, not the superintendent, but the man. He goes out of his way to help the kids.
Why would Mike need to steal gas? He wouldn't, and didn't.
Why would the school board give him a raise? Because the deserved it.
Why would they fire a man after giving him a raise? It couldn't be because of anything he did, because he wasn't even there to do anything, he was on administrative leave almost immediately after the raise. Speculation - they just wanted to move on.
Why would they care about destroying his reputation?
Obviously, they only care about themselves.

You asked why Slaton didn't keep him.
Believe me, we tried everything. But when you live in one of the poorest school districts in the state you simply cannot keep the best, your budget will not allow it. The best comes at a price. Royce City was able to recruit the best in the state. To bad they are to self centered and short sighted to realize their error.
Teresa

United States

#24 Aug 24, 2006
Whoa tiger! No one is saying that Mike Harris is anot a wonderful, caring man. I have known him for a long time too. But people make mistakes. And if we speed and we get tickets. Using school gasoline for personal use is a federal offense. In this case it was a minor deal, but any case of things stolen from a school district has to be investigated. I too do not think that Mike did anything wrong, I just don't understand why he didn't try to figure out who took the gas.
Randy

United States

#25 Aug 24, 2006
A few thoughts after reading this...

A cornerstone of American law (& ethics) is "innocent until proven guilty". No one is compelled to prove their innocence.

Jami, it REALLY makes me angry that you & the family are being put through this. Your dad is a great man, no matter what you read online. Your comments show more understanding & maturity than most other posters to this site. You are in our hearts & prayers.

This Earl character needs to get a life.
ALUM OF RCHS

Roswell, GA

#26 Sep 2, 2006
GRAND JURY NO BILLS CASE AGAINST MIKE HARRIS
NOW WHAT?
Teresa

Mabank, TX

#27 Sep 2, 2006
Someone please explain what that means.
ALAN

Mabank, TX

#28 Sep 2, 2006
THAT MEANS THAT THE GRAND JURY DID NOT THINK THERE WAS ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO TAKE THE CASE TO COURT. WHEN THEY THINK THAT, THEN THE CASE IS NO BILLED AND HE IS FREE. AND THE DISTRICT STILL DOES NOT KNOW WHO TOOK ALL THAT GAS.
My name is Earl

United States

#29 Sep 5, 2006
ALAN wrote:
THAT MEANS THAT THE GRAND JURY DID NOT THINK THERE WAS ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO TAKE THE CASE TO COURT. WHEN THEY THINK THAT, THEN THE CASE IS NO BILLED AND HE IS FREE. AND THE DISTRICT STILL DOES NOT KNOW WHO TOOK ALL THAT GAS.
I do not think the grand jury no billed the case, but the DA did not take it to the grand jury. The results is the same. People still do not know about the gas. Question why did Harris not try to find out who took the gas before he was placed on leave. As Superintendent he should have started an investigation the minute he found out gas was missing. Another question why did he as Superintendent even have a key to the gas pump in his possession?
My name is Earl

United States

#30 Sep 5, 2006
Steven Jones wrote:
There is so much that could be said to anyone or everyone interested in the character of Mike Harris. Jami is right on.
I live in Slaton, and his daughter is a friend of my daughter. Mike and I spent a lot of time together while he was here, and continue to see each other from time to time. We coached a girls basketball team together for two summers and during that time I learned a lot about the man, not the superintendent, but the man. He goes out of his way to help the kids.
Why would Mike need to steal gas? He wouldn't, and didn't.
Why would the school board give him a raise? Because the deserved it.
Why would they fire a man after giving him a raise? It couldn't be because of anything he did, because he wasn't even there to do anything, he was on administrative leave almost immediately after the raise. Speculation - they just wanted to move on.
Why would they care about destroying his reputation?
Obviously, they only care about themselves.
You asked why Slaton didn't keep him.
Believe me, we tried everything. But when you live in one of the poorest school districts in the state you simply cannot keep the best, your budget will not allow it. The best comes at a price. Royce City was able to recruit the best in the state. To bad they are to self centered and short sighted to realize their error.
You raise several questions. Now I would like to ask some questions. Why does the Superintendent need a key to the gas pump? Why did Harris make no effort to find out who took the gas, once it was reported missing?
My name is Earl

United States

#31 Sep 5, 2006
Steven Jones wrote:
There is so much that could be said to anyone or everyone interested in the character of Mike Harris. Jami is right on.
I live in Slaton, and his daughter is a friend of my daughter. Mike and I spent a lot of time together while he was here, and continue to see each other from time to time. We coached a girls basketball team together for two summers and during that time I learned a lot about the man, not the superintendent, but the man. He goes out of his way to help the kids.
Why would Mike need to steal gas? He wouldn't, and didn't.
Why would the school board give him a raise? Because the deserved it.
Why would they fire a man after giving him a raise? It couldn't be because of anything he did, because he wasn't even there to do anything, he was on administrative leave almost immediately after the raise. Speculation - they just wanted to move on.
Why would they care about destroying his reputation?
Obviously, they only care about themselves.
You asked why Slaton didn't keep him.
Believe me, we tried everything. But when you live in one of the poorest school districts in the state you simply cannot keep the best, your budget will not allow it. The best comes at a price. Royce City was able to recruit the best in the state. To bad they are to self centered and short sighted to realize their error.
The poor district business just doesn't play out. To keep Mike Harris at Slaton would have cost very little extra in the overall budget. I do not believe the people of Slaton were all that hot to keep him. If he is truly the best in the state they could have kept him if they had wanted him.
My name is Earl

United States

#32 Sep 5, 2006
From all of the post that have been made from people in Slaton, it seems Harris has done a good job of telling his side of the story to the people of Slaton. There have been some facts or so called facts that have been posted by people in Slaton they were not known by people in RC. That is the bad thing about this type of situation. The school employee who has done something wrong is free to run around telling their side of the story, the board has to stand by quietly and keep their mouth shut.
JMH

United States

#33 Sep 5, 2006
they dont mind printing anything else thathapens to any other citizen they should tell it all
ALAN

Mabank, TX

#34 Sep 6, 2006
I agree. The reason there are so many rumors out there is because no one will come forward with the facts. I would appreciate some honesty about what happened in this situation.
EDF

United States

#35 Sep 7, 2006
I am like Earl, I question why the sperintendent of schools would even have a gas key. If he had no key there would have never been a question about him taking the gas.
John

Roswell, GA

#36 Sep 7, 2006
It seems that many of you are not satisfied with any report of non-guilt for Harris. All you want to do is speculate on why he had a key? Why did Slaton let him go?
All of that means nothing. What about the fact that an innocent man has lost his job...lost his good name in the education arena....his family has suffered. No one seems to care about those facts. All you want to do is find something so you can say ...."See I told you so". But there is nothing. No secret photo...no video...nothing but a grainy photo of a pickup truck like his next to the gas pump.
I know what's next. Why was his truck parked next to the gas pump. Read his daughter letter in this listing.
The facts are the grand jury found not enough evidence to go to trial.
Next Friday a public hearing is being held. A TEA official will be there along with his attorney. I hope he gets his job back!
Coy-Slaton

Lubbock, TX

#37 Sep 7, 2006
I would like to know how many people who are critical of Mike Harris actually know him.I went to church with him and interacted with him in a service club.His daughter,Jami,is correct in what she wrote about her Dad.
ALAN

Plano, TX

#38 Sep 9, 2006
I am glad to hear all this. And I think Harris is a good man. Then there must be a reason he asked for the gas key, and a reason his truck was seen several times at the gas pump, and a reason he didn't investigate it. So I think he needs to speak up and defend himself, which he should have done in the first place. Then all this mess would not have happened.
teacher

Fort Worth, TX

#39 Sep 9, 2006
Well, here's what I think. The Carpenters nearly sent us to the poor house. Yeah, we had a lot of technology advances, but not enough money to get trained on how to use it (I've supposedly got IM capabilites. I not only don't know HOW to use it, I'm not sure why I'd even need it)...and worse than that, the money spent on those advances had a trickle down effect: the entire first semester of 2004-2005 school year we didn't even have enough money to keep the soap dispensers stocked with soap and had the absences due to sick kiddos to prove it. Our math scores weren't so hot, but we had no money to buy manipulatives to teach with, the "payoff" for the Carpenters could have paid the salaries of ten teachers...not THEIR salaries, JUST the PAYOFF. Harris comes in and WISELY sees we need a CFO to keep that kind of thing from happening. The CFO is a family friend. The CFO is the who would have figured out gas (gas costs money) is missing. If Harris did it, don't you think he could have worked a deal with a buddy? I'm mean, especially if he's NOT a good guy? I truly believe that if Harris was weak of character, the story would NEVER have broken, because he could have covered it up. Do you see the logic?

As for how did we start school...That's the beauty of it. The CFO/acting SI, the assistant supers and the principals have done and excellent job of keeping upper-level turmoil out of the schools themselves. We had amazing in-service speakers from whom I actually learned things I can take into the classroom with me. There have been no noticeable waves at the bottom of the ocean. Which is just as it should be. All the turmoil has stayed at the surface...where everyone can see and talk about it. The classrooms are fine, thank you very much...
ALAN

Grand Prairie, TX

#40 Sep 10, 2006
Sounds like RC has it together in spite of all the stuff with the supt. I, for one, wish them luck. That district has had too much turmoil. If the acting supt has done such a good job, why dont' they just make him the supt? I have heard that everyone really likes him and he actually gets out and visits all the schools.

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