Ex-TMC manager sues Caven

Former TMC: The Mining Company manager Roy Puente has filed a lawsuit against Caven Enterprises Operations Supervisor Donald Solomon, President Gregg Kilhoffer and CFO Ben Polachek. Puente, who is acting as his own attorney, claims the three made false and defamatory statements against him.

In his suit, Puente is claiming libel and slander and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Puente worked for Caven from November 2010 until September 2011.

Caven issued the following statement in response to Puente’s lawsuit:

“Caven Enterprises is aware of the suit that has been filed by Mr. Puente against certain of its managers. The managers and the company dispute the basis for the lawsuit and intend to vigorously defend the case. We look forward to resolving this case through the judicial process.”

The defendants filed exceptions to the suit, and the first hearing will be held on Nov. 16.

The case is set for non-jury trial on Nov. 4, 2013, with mediation ordered before that date.

Read Puente’s suit here and the defendants’ response here.

—  David Taffet

Why doesn’t DISD’s proposed new anti-bullying policy specifically protect LGBT students?

Edwin Flores

Via Unfair Park, we noticed that the Dallas Independent School District’s board of trustees is considering a new anti-bullying policy.

Which makes sense in light of all the recent bullying-related suicides across the country. DISD Trustee Edwin Flores tells Unfair Park that the district needs to make its policies more specific and comprehensive. What doesn’t make sense, though, is the fact that nowhere in the proposed policy does DISD spell out the types of bullying that will be prohibited, such as bullying based on actual or perceived sexual orientation, and bullying based on gender identity and/or expression. In short, the proposed new policy, as written, DOES NOT specifically protect LGBT students.

If trustees truly want to be more specific and comprehensive — rather than just trying to score a few political points — they need to spell out what types of bullying will be prohibited. After all, it’s legal to fire someone for being in gay in Texas precisely because sexual orientation isn’t included in state employment law. Likewise, the absence of sexual orientation from DISD’s anti-bullying policy could be construed to mean that it’s OK to bully someone for being gay.

DISD has a nondiscrimination policy, passed in the 1990s, that includes sexual orientation BUT NOT gender identity, which explains why the district can so openly discriminate against a transgender girl who wants to run for homecoming queen. The nondiscrimination policy passed in the 1990s is non-inclusive of transgender people, and Andy Moreno is in some ways paying for it today.

The LGBT community shouldn’t allow DISD to put yet another non-inclusive policy on the books. How many more gay teen suicides will it take before the district addresses the real causes?

Trustees are set to discuss the proposed policy during their regular meeting, at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 14 in the board room at 3700 Ross Ave. in Dallas. There will be an opportunity for public comments at the start of the meeting. Also, contact info for DISD trustees is available here.

—  John Wright