School Board Flooded With Hate Mail
POSTED: Tuesday, August 9, 2011 - 5:23pm
UPDATED: Friday, August 12, 2011 - 3:58pm
EL PASO - Eight days ago, the FBI arrested EPISD superintendent Lorenzo Garcia. The school board tells us that ever since then, it's been flooded with calls and emails. Most of them are angry and some are just plain nasty.
Isela Castanon-Williams welcomes input from parents, teachers, and anyone else. And while she says they're trying to be as accessible and transparent as possible, the tone has become very negative.
"I'd have to say nasty, some of them have been personal attacks," Castanon-Williams said.
Board president Isela Castanon-Williams says she's always gotten calls before, but not like this. From people screaming over the phone to hate mail, Castanon-Williams says they've all developed a thick skin. And while she understands it's part of the job, she says it makes her job harder when she can't work out a resolution with the person on the other end of the line.
"When we ask for a name, it's like, they're not going to give a name, and the phone number is unknown," Castanon-Williams said.
Amidst all the controversy, it's a daunting role - one that interim superintendent Terri Jordan is now filling.
"I'm very honored to come from a family of educators," Jordan said.
Jordan began her career with EPISD in the 80s as a teacher and now has two kids at EPISD schools. She will sit in Garcia's seat for the first time at tonight's board meeting.
While she says she's excited, we asked Jordan if she feels intimidated to fill those shoes.
"9,000 employees, 64,000 students, that just in and of itself is very challenging," Jordan said.
So while an interim superintendent takes her seat for the first time tonight, and as a new district 1 trustee is named, the board is hoping to start fresh, but still remain accessible - as long as you keep it clean.
"Gentler and nicer please," Castanon-Williams said.
The board president added that in 2006- when the FBI alleges Dr.Garcia was engaging in illegal activity - the current school board had not yet been elected.