POSTED: Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 8:54pm
UPDATED: Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 9:08pm
EAST EL PASO — We are hearing from parents students about former El Paso School District Superintendent Lorenzo Garcia after he admitted his guilt in a federal courtroom.
Parents and students say Garcia's illegal activity sent the wrong message to the children of El Paso, and they hope the district is now free of corruption.
Word spread quickly that former El Paso School District Superintendent Lorenzo Garcia admitted to a federal judge that he was guilty of stealing thousands of dollars from the district, and lying about test scores in an attempt to get more money from the government.
Jesus Salas will be a junior at Irvin High School in fall. He says in the classroom, students are well aware of the corruption.
"It is kind of messed up the way that EPISD is missing money and the school needs money, and that guy is just taking everything. That's not right,” said Salas.
Salas says it's hurtful to hear his former superintendent admitted to asking students to stay home during testing, so they wouldn't hurt the district's scores.
"You want to try to do your best in school, and for someone to come and tell you don't go because you are going to mess everything up for me. Well, I mean that's messed up,” said Salas.
Tanya Carrasco has two kids in the district. She says Garcia's admission of guilt should be an eye opener for parents.
"It just goes to show that there is so much more that we need to be concerned about. I mean if this is what our school district is doing, and this is just one person, how many other people are involved in this? I mean that's a big concern,” said Carrasco.
El Pasoan Jacob Valadez says that Garcia is a bad role model for students.
"These kids are going to be our future first of all. I mean that's what they told me when I was in school. They are going to be our future, so I mean why are you going to go ahead and tell someone 'Oh you know it's ok to be corrupt’”, said Valadez.
Salas says Garcia taught him an important lesson about life.
"There is always going to be corrupt people and I mean it's sending a bad message because teachers should be our role model,” said Salas.
The El Paso School District says their goal moving forward is to restore the trust of the community, but that may be difficult. The indictment says Garcia conspired with others who have yet to be indicted, so there may be more fallout as a result of his plea deal in the form of more names and more arrests.