Well, Mr. Chairman, it's Wednesday. Meet Brent Rumbo, the brand spanking new principal at the Crockett State School. Jim Hurley told the Austin Statesman's Mike Ward that Rumbo's background check "came up totally clean" before he was hired to head education programs at Crockett. A Grits commenter pointed out that TYC's background checkers apparently don't use Google. When I did, I found that the Bryan College Station Eagle reported on September 30,
It should be said that Mr. Rumbo has been convicted of no crime, and perhaps there are good reasons why he allegedly chased students with an axe, angered the NAACP and rode around Tyler during the evening with a prostitute.
Brent Rumbo resigned as principal of the high school in August, almost three months after allegations surfaced that he had chased a group of students with a stick or an ax.
A Grimes County grand jury did not find enough evidence to warrant a trial in that matter.
In May, the president of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People sent a letter to administrators contending that Rumbo had bullied minority students and intimidated teachers and staff on campus.
Rumbo was placed on paid leave Aug. 9 after he was asked to resign but would not do so.
That same day, The Eagle obtained a Tyler police report describing a December 2005 incident in which Rumbo, who was then principal at Winona High School, was pulled over for a traffic violation and had a known prostitute in the vehicle.
Rumbo told police that he was looking for his ex-wife, who he said was "turning tricks," and needed help finding her, according to the document.
The Navasota school board accepted his resignation Aug. 27.
But what a public relations disaster! Especially after the pepper spray fiasco. And after flip flopping on keeping 19-20 year olds locked up. And after ignoring a contractor engaged in protracted mistreatment of kids. And after ignoring the Blue Ribbon Report. And after letting the understaffing crisis at state-run units get out of hand, and running dozens of good employees off. TYC could use a couple of public relations wins right now, but it's not Jim Hurley's fault. The bad news just keeps coming.
Like the pepper spray lawsuit and the controversy over 19-20 year olds, the Rumbo situation is a self-inflicted wound. The guy just started work on Monday, for heaven's sake. He was in the Bryan newspaper last week over this stuff! And it's not just the lascivious charges that concern me; the last school he was at was rated academically unacceptable by the Texas Education Agency during his tenure.
Was this really the only guy you could find to take the principal's job? It's not like this was all years ago. This is all the stuff he resigned his last job over. Did TYC not call his previous employer? They formally asked for his resignation. Have you people never heard of promoting from within?
UPDATE: Apparently, they knew. Rumbo told the Bryan College Station Eagle he informed TYC officials about allegations and problems at his last job before he was hired: "Rumbo said Wednesday that he had discussed those matters with Texas Youth Commission officials 'several weeks ago.'" Said Jim Hurley, hopefully, "He did pass the background checks. No charges have ever been filed [against him.]"