SAN ANTONIO – A school district rocked by allegations of sexual assault and hazing is pledging to move on and learn from the past. That’s the message of the newly elected La Vernia Independent School District board sworn in Thursday.
All of the incumbents who ran for re-election on Saturday lost.
Taking an oath to serve the 3,000 students of La Vernia ISD, newly elected District 2 Trustee Drew Herley said he understands he is coming in at a tumultuous time.
"I think a lot of people have mixed emotions. They really didn't know which way to go, and now the vote was what it was," said Herley, whose 6-year-old daughter is in kindergarten at the district’s elementary school.
The incumbent in Herley's race did not run Saturday, but the three trustees seeking another four-year term all lost.
The newcomers begin their volunteer positions as 13 now-former student athletes remain under investigation for allegedly sexually assaulting teammates during hazing.
Staff members, including district Superintendent Jose Moreno, are expecting a response after filing a motion to dismiss the federal lawsuit against them.
"I think it's important that we let the judicial system move forward," said Moreno of the lawsuit.
None of the outgoing trustees wished to comment on their time on the board. The three other incoming trustees said they weren't ready to talk to KSAT 12 as it was their first day.
Herley said he believes the previous board could not have prevented what happened
"I think everything was taken care of on their side as best as it could," Herley said.
There are also signs of change, with posters promoting the new anonymous bully reporting system hung on the walls of the high school and the website online.
"We learn from today and take steps for tomorrow," Moreno said.