POSTED: Monday, June 25, 2012 - 4:17pm
UPDATED: Monday, June 25, 2012 - 6:16pm
Letter to Board President Attached
AUSTIN — State Senator José Rodríguez released the following statement Monday regarding the call for members of the El Paso ISD Board of Trustees to resign:
"I am extremely troubled by the allegations of malfeasance at El Paso ISD. I fully support a comprehensive investigation into the legality of the actions of the board and believe that if they have engaged in any illegal activities, then they should be brought to justice. I have called on board members to take all steps necessary to restore public trust, including, but not limited to, taking disciplinary action against those involved with Dr. Garcia. However, as an attorney and lawmaker, I must stop short of demanding their resignation in lieu of the recourse provided by law.
"We are first and foremost a nation of laws and the law says that in the absence of a finding of malfeasance, in a democratic society, voters must make the decision regarding who stays and who goes. If there is malfeasance, state law provides for the removal of elected officials under certain circumstances, but only after affording due process, including trial by jury.
"We must not continue to rush to judgment and act without a full investigation. In doing so, we risk giving our community yet another black eye.
"Foremost, we must make the students' success our top priority. I am greatly concerned by the lack of attention the students, especially those directly affected by the actions of Superintendent Garcia and others, have received. They should be our number one focus."
Out of concern for the welfare of the students involved, on Friday, June 22, Senator Rodríguez sent the following letter to EPISD Board President Isela Castañon-Williams:
June 22, 2012
Ms. Isela Castañon-Williams
President, Board of Trustees
El Paso Independent School District
6531 Boeing Dr.
El Paso, Texas 79925
Dear President Castañon-Williams:
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me about the situation at El Paso Independent School District. As follow up to our dialogue, I have a number of questions that I hope the School Board or the district will answer.
I respectfully request the following:
1. Information on the fate of the students from Bowie and Coronado high schools that former El Paso ISD superintendent Garcia has admitted to improperly preventing from taking state accountability tests. Can the district track what happened to them and whether they ultimately dropped out or graduated?
2. Is El Paso ISD contemplating taking any steps on behalf of these students?
3. What steps is El Paso ISD taking to ensure that this does not happen in the future?
I look forward to your response and appreciate your help. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you for the important work you do for El Paso.