If TEA Made House Calls, Would it Punch a Man in the Face?

A. J, Felix wanted more action from the TEA, but not this
A. J, Felix wanted more action from the TEA, but not this
Photo by Margaret Downing

About the only thing A.J. Felix is sure of is that the guy who came to his house saying he was from the Texas Education Agency and that Felix should “stop talking to the media” was an imposter.

An imposter who finger poked Felix in the chest and then punched the 130-pound grandfather of five children in the face. Unless, of course, the same TEA that listened for more than a year to complaints about how the Girls and Boys Academy Preparatory Academy in Houston was operating and couldn’t be bothered to take much of any action has now been re-energized and is making home visits.

On August 26, we wrote about parents and children left stranded right before the start of this school year trying to place their children in other schools without the necessary records that seem to have vanished from the charter school. The TEA had said months in advance that the school serving pre-K through 12 graders on two campuses would have to close – which it did at the end of the spring 2015 semester — but parents and teachers bought in to school director Fred Taylor saying he had the pull to keep the school open. It seems the TEA was not about to extend any more chances to the charter which continuously failed to meet financial or academic standards. Several people associated with the school have complained that although they contacted the TEA repeatedly with evidence of questionable activities at the school, that the state agency refused to take action. 

Felix, who was quoted in our August article, has been interviewed by other media including Channel 11 KHOU. On Monday, August 31, six days after talking about his search for a new school for his 17-year-old granddaughter, a special ed student, Felix was preparing his house for an pest extermination treatment.

“I was fixing to put up some animals in my neighbor’s garage. Somebody pulls up across the street; I’m not paying much attention,” says Felix. The man came walking up his neighbor’s driveway and when Felix says he asked if he could help him, the man told him he was with the TEA. Felix asked for identification, which the man did not produce.

Instead, the visitor told Felix “I shouldn’t be talking to anybody and started poking me on my chest. He drops an f-bomb. He told me to shut my mouth and mind my own business,” Felix says, adding that by now they’d moved over to his own yard. “He give me the push with two or three fingers. When I told him to get off me; he swung. Hit my right cheekbone under my eye.” Felix says he told the man to get out of there and the man left in a ’98 or ’99 dark gray Buick Regal.

Asked if he had any idea who the man was, Felix says he believes he said his name was Washington, and described him as being an African American about 5’ 8” with short hair — in other words, a physical description that matches hundreds of men in the Houston area. Felix called the Houston Police and when they didn’t come over, filed an assault complaint with the Bellaire substation the next day.

Although the man did not specifically mention the Girls and Boys Preparatory Academy, the fact that he said he is with the TEA, that he said “Don’t talk to the media and don’t talk to anybody else about this,” and that, as Felix says, “I’m not involved in any other situations,” seems to indicate that someone doesn’t want anything more said about what went on at the school.

As for Felix, the attack on him which left him with a mark on his face from the man’s ring when it connected with his face, has left him undeterred. “I don’t appreciate somebody coming on my property and telling me what to do.” 


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