By Angie Pereira
Just when you think things cannot possibly get any crazier at public meetings, this happens.
On Monday, August 23, 2021, a man, verbally identified by a board member as Mr. Akers during the course of events, proceeded to the microphone when called for his turn to speak at the Dripping Springs Independent School District’s Board of Trustee’s meeting.
The topic seemed to have to do with whether or not a mask mandate should be in place at the schools. This man, in the midst of speaking, begins to disrobe making it all the way down to his briefs (of some sort) and a mask.
This took place in front of numerous members of the public, including children ranging from teenagers to those easily under the age of 10.
The man continued to try to speak while in his lesser form of attire but was asked to redress and two Hays County officers approached him.
The surprising aspect of the law enforcements’ action is that they did not take this man into custody for public indecency or lude behavior in the presence of the minors present or whatever other charges could have been placed on him, but instead one officer, as evidenced by video circulating on the internet, actually went up and initiated a fist bump with him, as if almost a sign of reverence.
This is a shocking display to see from a law enforcement officer who just witnessed a man strip down in front of minors. I would be curious to hear the sheriff’s take on the officer’s action
What is even more disturbing is the complete negligence from any member of the board to call for the man’s possible arrest or present some kind of public outcry that the man be somehow reprimanded with a ban from future meetings and district property, as he has shown a severe disregard for, not just the decorum of a public meeting, but the safety of children by committing a lude act of, basically, a striptease in front of them.
There is no excuse for his behavior, as any words could convey a message he wished to get across without a licentious act.
But even more inexcusable is the negligence of all on the board, placing the head, the president, Ms. Barbara Stroud at the top of the list, for ineptly allowing the act to continue to the depth in which it did and then not public admonish the man and seek legal recourse for this act.
What does this say about her and the other board members and their care for the safety of the children within the district if they neglected a prime opportunity to show their devotion to the true security and safety of all children that were present in that meeting at that precise moment?
How did they know this man was not a demented individual getting off on stripping, not just in front of the unsuspecting adults in the room, but even more so, possibly, the children?
Whether they know the man or not in their personal lives, they do not know his mental state or his intentions, therefore should have acted with greater protective precaution for the children, and all others, in attendance.
At this time, a Change.org petition is circulating calling for the removal of Ms. Stroud from her position as president of the board and removal entirely from her position on the board. I am currently unaware of any other petitions that may be circulating for the call of removal of any other board members but would not be surprised if they exist.
I would hope that an investigation into this incident would be initiated by TEA (Texas Education Agency) and law enforcement, as minor children were involved and this act, and subsequent negligence, took place on district property during a district activity.
However, I am not sure TEA is the best authority to investigate actions by Ms. Stroud, as she has been under their employment in the past as a contracted mediating attorney, therefore a question of their ability to maintain an unbiased investigation might understandable.
A quick internet search quickly produces a PDF copy of a signed and executed copy of an Amendment to Standard Contract Between Texas Education Agency and Ms. Barbara Stroud.3337_Stroud_Amend_2