KILLEEN — Members of the Killeen Independent School District board of trustees had mixed reactions Wednesday to the domestic violence arrest of district spokeswoman Taina Maya.
Maya was arrested Oct. 14 in Waco after a domestic dispute at her home.
She told FME News Service on Friday that it was a verbal argument with her husband at her home in Waco, during which she said that both she and her husband called the police in order to keep the argument from escalating. Maya stopped short of saying the incident involved a physical altercation, however, an arrest affidavit said Maya was the “primary aggressor” who put her husband in a headlock, and at one point “grabbed him around the throat.” She was charged with misdemeanor assault-family violence.
John Craft, superintendent of KISD, responded to questions from FME News Service via email on Wednesday.
“The district does not discuss individual employee personnel actions,” Craft said. “The district will follow appropriate policies and procedures while assessing each situation individually.”
Maya said last week the offense was “non-reportable,” in accordance with KISD employee policy, meaning she didn’t have to report it to her boss, Craft. However, she said she did report it to Craft and was back to work the next day.
Among the charges that are required for KISD employees to report are crimes “involving moral turpitude,” which include “deliberate violence” and other crimes, raising questions if it should have been a “reportable” offense for a KISD employee.
“As Ms. Maya reported her arrest, the question of whether or not she had to report it is immaterial,” Craft said in response to FME News Service questions this week.
Craft refused to say if any disciplinary action has been taken against Maya, or if that sends a message that KISD does not have a zero-tolerance policy
“The district does not discuss individual employee personnel actions,” Craft said in response to those questions.
Maya was hired in July 2019 with a salary of more than $136,000, making her among the top-paid employees in KISD.
FME News Service also sent questions to all of the members of the board of trustees on Tuesday afternoon.
Board President Corbett Lawler responded on Wednesday morning.
“It doesn’t seem appropriate for me to discuss personnel matters about KISD employees. Such matters rest in the hands of Dr. Craft and his HR staff who are guided by policies and procedures,” Lawler said. “I am certain that Dr. Craft will navigate through any problems respecting employees rights to privacy while upholding appropriate policies and guidelines.”
Board Member Marvin Rainwater echoed similar thoughts to Lawler.
“As a board member it is not appropriate to comment on a private matter of any KISD employee. I am confident that all policies will be adhered to as they are published,” Rainwater said.
Board Member Susan Jones shared differing thoughts on the incident in her response on Wednesday.
“I must admit that the news about Maya’s arrest was very disappointing and I find her statement to the (FME News Service) concerning. Dr. Craft needs to address this situation in the same manner that he would if it were another employee, void of preferential treatment because of her position or gender sympathy,” Jones said. “The KISD policy states ‘Acts constituting abuse or neglect under the Texas Family Code’ and given the affidavit statement of ‘Assault’ I would argue that this was a reportable offense.”
The remaining school board members, Brett Williams, Shelley Wells, JoAnn Purser and Minerva Trujillo, did not respond to the questions by deadline.