Not Everyone's Happy Mark Twain's "Nice White Boys" Principal Is Back

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.


happy days

of the ’50s that were once yours and mine are still kicking over at Mark Twain Elementary, where Principal Joyce Dauber was reinstated after being suspended for making racially insensitive comments to teachers about her grandson’s class placement.

Three parents upset with Superintendent Abe Saavedra’s decision to bring back the educator who insisted at least four times that her grandson be placed in a classroom with “nice white neighborhood boys” spoke up at the HISD board meeting Wednesday.

The school’s PTO president, Jill Herrera, and a teacher voiced support for Dauber.

Houston Chronicle reporter Ericka Mellon talked to Saavedra after the meeting and reported that he doesn’t plan to rethink the move.

Herrera declined to comment to us on the situation, and HISD spokesman Norm Uhl referred Hair Balls to the district’s official statement concerning the investigation that preceded Dauber’s return. The release, written by Central Region Superintendent Adriana Tamez, reads:

The Equal Employment Opportunity office of the Houston Independent School District has completed its investigation and confirmed one of the eight allegations against Twain Elementary School Principal Joyce Dauber. The principal admitted that she had made inappropriate remarks to teachers concerning the placement of her grandson.

The principal acknowledges that her actions were wrong and highly inappropriate. She regrets her actions and is very remorseful. Mrs. Dauber has been appropriately disciplined for these actions.

Mrs. Dauber will be reinstated as principal to Mark Twain Elementary School. I will be working very closely with Mrs. Dauber this year to ensure that she establishes and maintains appropriate and positive relationships with her entire school community. Mrs. Dauber has been a strong principal and has created successful educational opportunities for students at Mark Twain Elementary School. I expect much continued academic success for all students at the campus.

Well, we feel better. All this PC hogwash has brought about some changes at Twain, however. Among them:

Administrators will refrain from using corporal punishment on black students caught sitting at the Twain Elementary lunch counter

The Firehose and German Shepherd Appreciation Club will now hold practice off-campus

No more poll taxes in class president elections

Miscegenation is no longer a timeout-able offense

Talk about spineless. In the words of Twain himself, “Grow a pair, hippies!”

Blake Whitaker

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.