HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Like many school districts across Texas, Katy ISD is under fire from parents who believe educators are not doing near enough to stop bullying.
This week that criticism took a profoundly personal tone when Katy alum Greg Gay, once known as Greg Barrett, stepped to the podium at a KISD board meeting and told a decades-old story of middle school abuse.
"One day at lunch I had my head shoved in a urinal where it busted my lip. I had laid on the ground in a fetal position as the kids kicked me," said Gay.
Gay then identified his principle attacker as the man currently in command of the state's 9th largest school district, Superintendent Lance Hindt.
"Lance, you were the one who shoved my head in the urinal," said Gay.
Gay claims the emotional trauma left him suicidal.
"Well, I went home and I got the .45 out of my father's drawer and put it in my mouth, because at this point I had nobody, nobody in the school system to help me," said Gay.
On KISD's own video feed, Hindt can be heard responding to the allegation with laughter.
The Superintendent has since issued the following statement:
It was difficult for me to listen to a gentleman Monday night recount a bullying incident he said occurred more than 35 years ago. As superintendent in three school districts in Texas, I have always tried to create an environment where every student is safe -- physically and emotionally. But when an individual impugns my character and reputation as the instigator of those actions, I am disappointed because it simply is not true. I do not recall this person from my childhood. I did not graduate from the same high school as Mr. Barrett, though we did attend the same junior high in 1978. And my junior high principal -- Mr. McMeans -- would never have let me (or anyone else) get away with the actions he described.
I do not suggest that Mr. Barrett was not bullied, only that I was not part of it. Bullying is wrong. Period. It was then and it is today. At Katy ISD, we are always looking for ways to make our campuses and our students safe. I am proud to lead a district that is not afraid to confront bullying behavior – whether in person or online. We are always challenging our teachers and principals to identify harmful behavior and to intervene as necessary.
Fox 26 has since spoken with a classmate of both men who says he witnessed the bathroom attack and identified Hindt as the lead perpetrator.
"Lance Hindt was one of the biggest bullies in school," said the classmate.
Gay says his primary desire is for Hindt and KISD to acknowledge that bullying is a major problem and take serious steps to address the issue.
Gay told FOX 26, “I want Lance to step up, acknowledge what happened. We were kids, we were young, we do stupid things when were young. He is in charge of all of these children, all of these children, and he needs to make policy to help these kids.”
This week's panel: Bob Price – Associate Editor Breitbart Texas, Tomaro Bell – super neighborhood leader, Tony Diaz- Chicano educator and activist, Marcus Davis - host of "Sunday Morning Live", Bill King - businessman, columnist and former Kemah Mayor, and Jessica Colon - conservative strategist, join Greg Groogan to discuss the issue