CASTROVILLE, Texas – A former Medina Valley Independent School District bus driver says she was forced to resign after failing a drug test, raising even more questions about the district’s decision to allow its now-athletic director and head football coach to stay employed after also failing a drug test.
The former driver, who KSAT agreed not to identify, said she failed a drug screening in 2016 after marijuana she had used over the summer had not cleared out of her system.
The woman said after she was notified of the failed test she contacted her route coordinator and then met with the district’s then-director of transportation the following day.
She told the KSAT 12 Defenders via telephone late last month that she would have been terminated if she had not resigned during that meeting.
“I assume that would have been the next step. It’s an important task you have,” said the woman, when asked about the responsibility of driving children.
She did not respond to several follow up requests to tell her story on camera.
The revelation comes weeks after a Defenders investigation showed that athletic director and head football coach Lee Crisp admitted to failing a drug test in his application for those positions in 2019.
Crisp, who served as interim athletic director before being named to the position permanently, wrote in the application that he failed a TxDOT drug screening after taking prescription medication without a prescription.
Crisp was subjected to a year of additional screenings after the failed test, but passed those without further incident, his application states.
“The physical was where he had popped dirty,” said Richard Broome, Medina Valley ISD’s director of transportation at the time of Crisp’s failed test. Broome claims that Crisp told him he had used prescription medication belonging to a family member.
“He came to the office, pleaded his case. Same story he wrote down. That was the last time I spoke to him. Everything else was through the superintendent’s office. This isn’t something that I can just be okay with, like the test is there, I can’t hide that,” said Broome, who did question why the failed test has become such a lightning rod for criticism now, nearly five years after it happened.
Broome said he was later told by a member of administration that Crisp would be given a probationary period to “clean up his act,” even though Broome was under the impression the district had a zero-tolerance policy on failed drug screenings.
Broome told the Defenders he was not surprised an apparent exception was made for Crisp, since he is a coach.
Crisp has a commercial driver’s license and a school bus endorsement, according to his application. Multiple sources, however, said Crisp no longer drives students to and from athletic events.
A district spokeswoman late last week pushed back on the claim that the female bus driver was forced to resign, stating via email that district records show she resigned due to health reasons.
“Coach Crisp bullied my son openly”
Crisp’s failed drug test was among a number of allegations lodged against him by community members in a signed letter forwarded to Medina Valley ISD administration in early January.
The letter accused Crisp of appearing to be under the influence at school functions and that he refused to allow a football player to ride home with the team after a game in Lockhart last fall, forcing the teenager to catch his own ride for the 90-mile trip.
Crisp was also accused of making fun of another player’s speech impediment during back-to-back practices.
“Coach Crisp bullied my son openly in front of offensive coaches and players, but in your investigation you did not interview all of the offensive players who witnessed it,” said parent Oh Rash during the district’s board meeting last month.
Rash was among a large number of community members who spoke both for and against Crisp remaining employed by the district, during the tense meeting that included several speakers being interrupted by the school district’s attorney.
“The memories these boys will have is one of alienation, humiliation, ridicule and isolation, knowing the school they represented did nothing to protect them from what has happened. You took their dreams away from them. Remember that,” said a second parent who called for Crisp’s removal.
“As with most life lessons, we did not expect the scrutiny to come in such a vicious form,” said a woman during the meeting who identified herself as Crisp’s family member.
Another supporter of Crisp told the board, “Some of these allegations that came out, they didn’t line up with the man I know.”
Medina Valley officials have refused to discuss the district’s investigation of Crisp. Multiple sources said Crisp was placed on leave but returned to work in mid-February.
A spokesperson for the Texas Education Agency, which has been made aware of multiple complaints against Crisp, said via email this week the complaints were still being reviewed.
“It is a sad day for our district”
Last week, Medina Valley ISD Facilities Director Tommy Ellison sent a lengthy letter to its board of trustees slamming them for their handling of the Crisp situation.
“How do you possibly tell kids Medina Valley ISD’s policy is one of ‘anti drugs’. The school board just promoted and accepted the use of drugs as acceptable behavior. It is a sad day for our district,” Ellison wrote in the letter later obtained by the Defenders.
Ellison confirmed the contents of the letter in a phone call with KSAT last week, and said the district sanctioned him two days after the letter was sent, including taking away his use of a district vehicle.
Broome, who previously worked as director of transportation for another San Antonio school district, said he left Medina Valley ISD in 2018 due to concerns about his own health.
District officials confirmed that reason for Broome’s departure.
District officials have refused multiple requests from the Defenders to make Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Rohrbach available for an interview regarding Crisp or its handling of employees who fail drug screenings.