BISD claims lawsuit lacking, asks judge to reject Cornejo-Lopez

The Brownsville Independent School District said in court documents that it cannot answer a lawsuit filed by 404th state District Judge Elia Cornejo-Lopez because her complaint against the district is “vague and ambiguous.”

“Plaintiffs’ complaint sets forth a large volume of various allegations of acts by multiple individuals, but the allegations are so generally vague and ambiguous with regard to Defendant BISD that Defendant cannot determine what legal claims, if any, have actually been filed against it,” a BISD court motion states.

The school district is also asking U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen to deny Cornejo-Lopez’s application for a temporary restraining order.

Cornejo-Lopez filed the federal lawsuit on Nov. 30, accusing BISD administrators and trustees of mistreating her children and retaliating against them after Lopez filed a grievance against the district.

Cornejo-Lopez also filed an application for a temporary restraining order against the district. A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

Attorneys for BISD, however, argue that Cornejo-Lopez’s complaints in the lawsuit don’t meet legal meddle and that her application for the temporary restraining order does not contain any affidavits or other verified evidence.

“Plaintiffs’ complaint is so vague and ambiguous that Defendant simply cannot reasonably prepare a response,” the motion states.

The 36-page lawsuit filed by Cornejo-Lopez lists a litany of allegations against BISD, including that the Board of Trustees violated her right to free speech by not letting her address it in executive session concerning her grievances; that her child was retaliated against after Cornejo-Lopez filed a grievance; that a leaker released a summary of her grievance to local bloggers in violation of her child’s privacy rights; and that BISD purposefully would not hold a hearing on her grievance.”

Cornejo-Lopez’s request for a temporary restraining order centers around her allegations that BISD allowed an incoming freshman to take an AP Chemistry course for 11th and 12th graders, for which the student did not meet the prerequisites, while another student, one of Cornejo-Lopez’s children, an incoming freshman, was not allowed to take an AP Psychology course for 11th and 12th graders even though this student met the pre-requisites, according to the lawsuit.

The student allowed to take the AP Chemistry class was Anglo, according to the lawsuit, and Cornejo-Lopez’s child is Hispanic.

In an affidavit included with BISD’s motion to deny Cornejo-Lopez’s application for a temporary restraining order, Laura Torres, a district counselor, admits that the first student was allowed to take AP Chemistry.

Torres approved that student for AP Chemistry “based on the student’s high school course credits obtained in middle school, and other proficiency criteria such as the types of courses she had taken, her grades in such cases, and the requirement that students take four core classes yearly,” according to the affidavit.

That document also states that AP Chemistry is a core course required for high school graduation and that AP Psychology is an elective. Freshman and sophomore students are not allowed to take elective AP courses and elective courses are not required for graduation, Torres said in the affidavit.

Furthermore, according to the motion to deny the application for a temporary restraining order, BISD said it thinks the request relates to Cornejo-Lopez’s child not being allowed to take AP Psychology by Jan. 8, the start of the spring semester. The elective course is not even being offered at the school in question during the spring semester, according to BISD.

“Accordingly, Defendant respectfully submits that Plaintiffs’ application for temporary restraining order is defective and should be denied,” the document states.