Roma ISD teacher accuses trustee of political retaliation

Raul Moreno (via Roma ISD's website)

A teacher at the Roma school district filed a lawsuit against the district on Wednesday, claiming a school board member aggressively confronted him for supporting a different political faction.

Juan Gilberto “Beto” Escobar, a teacher, said school board Trustee Raul Moreno approached him at an election site during early voting for the March primary elections.

In the federal complaint, Escobar alleges that Moreno was “agitated and aggressive” toward him because of his political association.

“He accused Escobar of ‘starring (sic) his way’ to justify his hostile, nonsensical confrontation,” the complaint stated.

Escobar claims that he expressed no animosity but that Moreno continued to belittle him and mock Escobar’s position as the municipal judge for the city of Roma.

“Even including a burst into laughter when Moreno further made clear that ‘[he] can and [does] whatever the f— [he] wants,'” Escobar claims in the complaint. “This type of ‘above the law’ behavior, combined with political animosity directly resulted in this malicious, violent and retaliatory altercation.”

The altercation even got physical, according to Escobar, when Moreno allegedly shoved Escobar in his abdomen.

Escobar claims he attempted to walk away and, when he responded to Moreno’s alleged continued insults, he kept his hands in his pocket to signal his non-violent stance.

“Moreno, again, physically assaulted Escobar by forcefully shoving him in the chest,” the complaint stated.

After the incident, Escobar claimed that Moreno posted false and negative information about him on social media and that Moreno allegedly continues to spread false information about the incident to try to publicly humiliate him.

Another district employee, Ramiro Guillen, joined the lawsuit, purporting that Moreno “blatantly told him that he was being reassigned in his school position — as a direct consequence of his political affiliation with the party opposing Raul Moreno’s party.”

Moreno did not return a request for comment as of press time.

The school district declined to comment on the allegations.

“Roma ISD cannot comment regarding an ongoing lawsuit,” the district stated in an email. “The District also has a policy of declining to comment on matters that may involve issues of employee privacy.”

In filing the lawsuit against the district, Escobar and Guillen are seeking actual and compensatory damages for mental anguish and emotional pain and suffering in the past and future; impairment of reputation, personal humiliation; lost wages and benefits in the past and future.