Amira Van Leeuwen | Staff Reporter
The Hays CISD Board of Trustees held a special meeting on March 8, 2022, at 9:00 am to begin the process of terminating Blanco Vista second grade elementary school teacher Andrew Palmore.
On Tuesday, March 1, Palmore was arrested by the Kyle Police Department (KPD) and charged with two counts of Indecency with a Child, a third-degree felony, and two counts of Improper Relationship Between an Educator and Student, a second-degree felony. Palmore was released from the Hays County Jail on March 4, 2022, after paying a total of $50,000 in surety bonds for all four of the charges against him.
Palmore was also previously placed on leave in Hays CISD in December 2020 when the district was notified that he was being investigated by Child Protective Services and a different law enforcement agency, other than the Kyle Police Department.
The Board remained in closed session for almost an hour before returning to the meeting room.
Casey Benjamin spoke during the public forum as a concerned citizen and on behalf of his daughters who attend Blanco Vista Elementary School. Benjamin was unsettled with why the school district allowed Palmore to remain a teacher following previous accusations against him.
He said he hopes that the Board was not made aware of the prior accusations against Palmore. “This is very unsettling for us,” Benjamin said.
Benjamin said that in the Spring of 2021, Palmore was allowed to start a running club to a park in San Marcos that was not on school grounds or during school hours.
“I know this because my daughter was in that running club, and I was there. And this is very, very unsettling and very nerve-wracking,” Benjamin said.
“During this running club, he was taking these children to 5-Mile dam on a number of occasions, and these children vastly outnumbered the adults,” Benjamin said. “And this is after an allegation, and he’s still allowed to do this.”
Benjamin said that Palmore actively recruited kids for his running club.
“I know this because he actively recruited my nine-year-old, soon to be 10-year-old. He asked her, ‘Are you going to join the running club? I sure hope you join the running club,’” Benjamin said.
“I hope the ball wasn’t dropped for not only kids that this happened to, but the children that it could’ve happened to if this went on,” Benjamin said.
The Board move to propose the termination of the term contract of Palmore for a “good cause,” as was reviewed in the closed session, and direct the Superintendent to provide notice of this action to the employee as required by law. The motion remained unopposed and carried a vote of (7-0).
After the motion was approved, a statement was made on behalf of the Hays CISD School Board, “This vote should send a strong message that our Board appreciates the seriousness of this matter. Our Board puts protecting the children of our district at the very top of our priority list.”
Palmore was a substitute teacher for Hays CISD during the spring semester of 2012. He substituted at Blanco Vista and Science Hall Elementary Schools, as well as Simon Middle School during that time. He was hired full-time by Hays CISD in August 2014 at Blanco Vista Elementary, where he has worked as a 5th, 4th, and 2nd- grade teacher.
Anyone with information they believe would be important to investigators should contact the Kyle Police Department at 512-268-3232. See the district’s related statement on Palmore’s arrest issued March 1, 2022, at: www.hayscisd.net/arrest.