EPISD Probe Sheds Light On Corruption
POSTED: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - 4:21pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 9:06am
EL PASO — Students, parents and employees have been accusing the administrators at Bowie High school of pushing low-performing students out of school for years. Tuesday the district announced that both the principal and the district executive no longer work at Bowie.
NewsChannel 9 broke the story first when both the U.S. Department of Education and the FBI began their investigations back in 2010. The district finally admitted Tuesday that there may be a problem in the district.
The El Paso Independent School District is no stranger to investigations. Former Superintendent Lorenzo Garcia was indicted for the misuse of the district's funds.
In addition the FBI and the U.S. Department of Education have been looking into several high schools for pushing low performing students out of school since 2010.
"We have also reported to the federal government that some El Paso students may have been improperly denied the opportunity to enroll at Bowie and that some students were pushed out of regular school classes and into disciplinary programs without the proper involvement of parents," said EPISD Interim Superintendent Dr. Terri Jordan.
The interim superintendent, former chief of staff during Garcia's administration released evidence that supports some of the allegations.
"We made these decisions because of what i can only describe as significant failures in our number one job of educating every student these failures occurred during a previous administration beginning as early as 2008 and through the next 3 years," Dr. Jordan said.
And the district took action.
"I have directed the removal of Bowie High school Jesus Chavez and his reassignment to other administrative duties away from the school effective yesterday," she said.
Myrna Gamboa. was also removed from her position for allegedly inappropriately changing student's grades.
Dr. Terri Jordan says another top administrator, Damon Murphy, currently the Superintendent of Canutillo, sent out an email in August of 2008 that deeply troubles her. She said it could be proof of administrators trying to wrongfully hold students back.
A former employee of EPISD Linda Hernandez Romero was one of the first to speak out against the district in our previous reports. She says she's known about these issues for years.
"I believe 2008, it tried slowing down when we started speaking up," Romero said. "It's really sad that things weren't done in time for these kids. A lot of these kids are already of age and they won't be given that opportunity."
The probe into EPISD is far from over. A hotline was set up so anyone can anonymously report potential student record problems, at 1-800-620-8591 or visit EPISD.org.