Former principal’s court case delayed

Lawyers on opposite sides of a criminal case against former Travis Elementary School principal Linda Voss tangled Wednesday with a continuance, or delay, on an amended motion to quash granted by Ector County Court-at-Law Judge Brooke Hendricks-Green.

The continuance was granted on a motion to quash the Class A misdemeanor charge while First Assistant County Attorney Greg Barber won a “leave of the court” motion to review an amended discovery motion concerning evidence in the case against Voss, who is accused of failing to report an alleged indecency with a child case involving juveniles.

John Green, one of Voss’s attorneys, said a hearing will be held, possibly on June 7, after Barber revises the complaint. Voss also is represented by Michael McLeaish and a lawyer from the Texas State Teachers Association.

Charged with “failure to report” in violation of a section of the Texas Family Code, she was booked into Ector County Detention Center Feb. 26 and released that day on a $1,000 surety bond. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in the county jail and up to a $4,000 fine, or both.

According to the affidavit, Voss was required to report the alleged indecency with a child allegation to Texas Child Protective Services or law enforcement within 48 hours. The affidavit said Voss failed to report the case during that time period after becoming aware of the allegations.

Indecency with a child occurs when someone engages in sexual contact with the child or causes the child to engage in sexual contact with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, Green said.

Voss said the incident did not involve an adult.

“It involved four students and they’re minors (age 10 and 11). Under our training and our policy, when it is a student-to-student situation we as principals are responsible for investigating the situation because up until then it could be hearsay,” she said in April.

“We have seven to 10 days to investigate. If at the end of the investigation we find, or we suspect, abuse has been committed, or neglect, then it is our responsibility to call the appropriate agencies. For us, (we) call district police, who would in turn involve CPS after their investigation,” Voss said.

She has said she followed district policy and training.

According to the policy, any district employee who suspects or receives notice that a student or group of students has or may have experienced prohibited conduct shall immediately notify the appropriate district official. In this instance, Voss notified the Title IX coordinator.

ECISD trustees in April approved a recommendation to give notice of a proposed non-renewal of term contract to Voss and advise her that any requested hearing would be conducted by the board of trustees.

Voss said Wednesday that a hearing is scheduled in July before the school board.

She said her TSTA attorney is awaiting the outcome of the misdemeanor case before proceeding.