Plaintiff in discrimination suit against BISD asks for continuance

By David Yates | Dec 12, 2016

BEAUMONT – Last July, the Beaumont Independent School District was sued by an educator alleging deliberate targeted racial discrimination over a seven-year period.

BISD had its loser pays motion dismissed a year ago and has since moved for summary judgment, with a hearing on the issue set for Dec. 15.

The plaintiff’s attorney, Larry Watts, filed a motion for continuance on Dec. 5, stating that he recently recovered from a medical condition and needs more time.

A hearing on the matter was slated for Dec. 12 but was cancelled.

Tony Cox filed a complaint July 17, 2015 in Jefferson County District Court against BISD, alleging racial discrimination and racially motivated manipulation by school personnel in an effort to undermine his career from 2006 through 2013.

The complaint states Cox, who has worked as a professional educator twice with the BISD since 1995, with a successful tenure as a high school teacher and coach, is a Caucasian male married to an African-American female and they have five children. The suit says a school administrator named in the filing made continuous closed-door efforts to have him removed from the staff, and the reasons were purely racial in nature.

The suit states two of Cox’s children, both BISD students, were brutally attacked in early 2013. His son was shot in March of that year, and his daughter was raped in April, according to the filing.

The suit describes episodes of premeditated acts of provocation, which the plaintiff believes were deliberately intended to goad him into committing misdemeanors in order to fire and decertify him. For example, when Cox was fired as coach April 29, 2013, a staffer allegedly asked him, “Don’t you feel like hitting me?” and later admitted that he had been set up by another administrator.

The plaintiff was demoted July 18, 2013, incurring a significant salary loss, and was denied his contracted summer stipend, the suit states.

Specific charges were not cited in the suit.

Cox seeks damages and reinstatement of all benefits, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney fees, expenses and costs. He is represented by attorney Larry Watts of Watts & Company, Lawyers in Missouri City.

Jefferson County District Court case number A-197358

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