Public school barred mother from middle school unless she signed an NDA, complaint claims

(Daily Caller News Foundation) – A public middle school barred a mother from entering the school building unless she signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), according to a complaint obtained by…

(Daily Caller News Foundation) – A public middle school barred a mother from entering the school building unless she signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), according to a complaint obtained by the Daily Caller.

Legal counsel for mother Amber Longacre sent the Daily Caller video footage that appeared to show Kitty Hawk Middle School employees bar the mother from entering the building without signing an NDA on Aug. 15. Longacre alleged in a complaint to the Judson Independent School District that a student resource officer, typically a member of the local police department, was among those allegedly coaxing her to sign the agreement. 

“Texas law is clear that parents are to ‘be encouraged to actively participate in creating and implementing educational programs for their children,’” the complaint reads. “Unfortunately, it appears that Judson ISD has implemented a visitor check in policy that is inconsistent with this state mandate.” 

Longacre’s legal representation dubbed the NDA “an abuse of power” and argued it was in violation with constitutional, state and federal law. 

Pictures obtained by the Daily Caller show the NDA on an iPad with Longacre’s name auto-populated in the text. Aaron Terr, director of public advocacy at the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), told the Daily Caller this style of NDA is typically used by businesses to give other companies access to trade secrets when evaluating a potential business relationship. 

“It’s hard to understand why a school district would require students’ parents to sign this NDA as a condition to enter the school,” Terr said.  

An NDA, by nature, imposes a restraint on speech. Public entities, such as a school, are bound to the First Amendment. 

“Judson Independent School District cannot broadly prohibit parents from discussing issues of information related to the school,” Terr told the Daily Caller. 

Nowhere in Judson Independent School District’s back-to-school memos or policies does the district inform parents about an update to sign-in policies or adding an NDA at check-in, according to a review of documents. The district’s policies state that parents must show a photo ID when visiting campuses and undergo a third-party “RAPTOR” process when students are on campus. 

The policy, including the RAPTOR process, is the same policy as previous school years. Longacre alleged in video footage that she was never asked to sign an NDA in previous years. 

Upon refusing to sign the NDA, Longacre sat down with Assistant Superintendent of Operations Joseph Guidry and his secretary in the district’s administration building. According to video footage obtained by the Daily Caller, Guidry had no information on how or why the NDA was in place, even though the same NDA appeared on the check-in kiosks at the administration building, Longacre said. 

The assistant superintendent of operations initially claimed the NDA was in place to protect children, according to the video footage. Longacre said she felt like the district was hiding information from her by forcing her to sign such an agreement. 

Longacre told the Daily Caller that she felt “backed into a corner” and knew she needed to stick up for other parents and herself.

“I started thinking about all the people who were in a hurry … It made me really nervous to think there were so many people who were signing it without even realizing what it was,” Longacre said. “I told them that and they laughed at me. When they [laughed at me] I knew that something needed to be done.”

A legal representative for the district informed Longacre on Aug. 22 that the district removed the NDA from the visitor sign-in process. Lawyer Jameson Baker told the mother that the NDA was a “default document within the District’s visitor system,” according to Longacre. 

Judson Independent School District, the district’s superintendent, and the Director of Student Safety did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.