LA VERNIA, Texas — The school board for La Vernia ISD made no decision Wednesday night on whether to fire or keep the superintendent. Dr. Trent Lovette is under fire after allegations surfaced that he inappropriately touched a student at a football game. The board decided to wait until an investigation by La Vernia police is completed.
According to an incident report obtained by KENS 5, an officer with the Sinton Police Department was providing security during a high school football game on August 30 at the Sinton High School Stadium. The officer was approached by a La Vernia cheerleader, who told the officer she was "touched inappropriately," the report states.
The cheerleader informed the officer that she was standing on the track when "she felt a hand slide back and forth on her lower back." She also told the officer she heard a man's voice "asking her how her how she was doing" while she was touched. The report states the cheerleader identified the man as Dr. Lovette, the superintendent.
The community is divided by the issue.
“I don’t think we should shame this girl for speaking out,” said Addie Fike, a student at the school. “If she felt uncomfortable, then that’s how she felt, but I don’t think this accusation should have held as much weight as it did.”
Wednesday, the board reviewed those allegations. Students, parents and teachers took the podium to defend the superintendent, before the board discussed what to do next behind closed doors.
One parent expressed her concern with the situation. “If we get rid of Dr. Lovette, I think it’s going to set a very bad precedent for this community moving forward,” Michelle Eddlemon said.
The superintendent is not facing criminal charges, but this is the second investigation in the past year. Last year, just months, after Dr. Lovette was hired, he was placed on leave, then brought back into his position in early December following an investigation by the district.
On Wednesday night, the La Vernia ISD board of trustees released the following statement:
"The La Vernia ISD Board of Trustees takes allegations against its Superintendent seriously. It is critical for the Board to do its due diligence, and to ensure all the facts are in hand. The Trustees are committed to a fair and impartial investigation into these matters. The District will continue cooperating with any and all agencies involved in this process. The La Vernia Police Department has directed the District to discontinue its investigation while the police investigation is ongoing. To that end, the Trustees will stand by and continue to await the outcome of the LVPD and Family Protective Services investigations. The Trustees want to remind everyone to be mindful of and respectful to any and all students and teachers. Our students' safety and well-being are first and foremost in our minds, now and moving forward. "