Supporters hold rally for BISD school official who they claim su - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Supporters hold rally for BISD school official who they claim suffered abuse

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About 60 people gathered Thursday across from Beaumont Independent School District's administration building showing solidarity with Jessie Haynes, the district's communications director.

Haynes has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into a confrontation involving Haynes and board trustee Mike Neil.

Neil had been trying to let reporter Jerry Jordan into a news conference, but Haynes blocked him, that's when Haynes says Neil grabbed and manhandled her.

Haynes was not at the rally Thursday, but dozens of people who were made it loud and clear that she's not alone.

Rally organizer Paul Jones says, "Ms. Haynes was bullied, she was verbally attacked and she was physically attacked.  She was manhandled and she should never have to go through that and the only person that has been punished is Ms. Haynes.

Still there were a few there who say Haynes is no victim, and blame her for the divisive battle.

Beaumont City Councilman Mike Getz told us, "I don't know what kind of abuse Ms. Haynes has endured in her personal life, I haven't read her book.  I don't know what it is that caused Ms. Haynes to have this hatred, but I was there, I was an eyewitness, there was no assault on Ms. Haynes, anybody can watch the video and plainly see that."

There were several BISD police officers present to prevent any disruptions.  We only witnessed one incident, police stopped someone who was driving around the parking lot making an obscene hand gesture at the demonstrators.

The head of the NAACP's Beaumont Chapter, Ronald Bishop, says there will be future rallies.

He also says racism is the root of the division in the community over BISD.

He said, "I think as long as it is not recognized and dealt with, this will never get solved."

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