Botello Elementary Parents: What's Being Done about Guns and Drugs in Our School?

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Felix G. Botello Elementary School
A week after a whistle-blowing teacher was suspended without explanation, parents at Botello Elementary in Oak Cliff say they are fed up with the lack of information about what they call the "illegal presence of firearms and drugs in school." (See correction at bottom.)

In a letter to district officials signed by 50 parents, they politely unload their frustrations with the way they've been treated by the school's principal, Angel McKoy, and write in support of Elliot Monteverde-Torres, the third-grade math teacher placed on paid leave after he filed a complaint with the district and the state.

"We're not sure that our kids are safe anymore. Who knows how many other things are hiding that we still don't know about," Raul Garza, who has two daughters at the elementary school, told Unfair Park today.

In the weeks before he was suspended, Monteverde-Torres, a probationary teacher recently told he would not be brought back next fall, alleged that the principal hadn't done enough to discipline a student who shot another with a BB gun, or a student who was caught handing out prescription pills on campus.

(DISD officials haven't commented on the teacher's suspension; we reached out to DISD for comment today and have yet to hear back; we'll update when we do. The phone rang unanswered at Botello.)

Garza has nothing but praise for Monteverde-Torres, who taught his daughter until he was removed from his position, and says several parents have approached McKoy, the principal, for more information about the incidents Monteverde-Torres addressed in his complaint. McKoy told parents "those were internal issues" having to do with students who were "not their kids," Garza says.

They write in the letter:

The serious problems, including the illegal presence of firearms and drugs in school and one case of aggression and violence among students, as well as the hostility from Principal Angel McKoy towards parents, need immediate solutions that respond to the needs of all, with respect to all parties and without making use of tactics of intimidation, blackmail and/or conflict.

Garza and the other parents say it's their business to know how situations deserving of discipline are being handled. He says he's not so naive as to think bad things won't happen, but he would like the assurance that the situations, especially those involving pills and BB guns, are being addressed properly -- or at all. For now, Garza says, he's left with few answers to questions stemming from things he's heard from his daughters and other parents: Was the boy with the BB gun ever punished? Did a fifth grade girl really give a Viagra pill to a fifth grade boy? Why won't anyone provide him with answers?

"We don't want to make a big deal, but we just want to know," Garza says. "You can't blow us off ... That's unacceptable."

Due to a moronic editor's error, an earlier version of this story said the teacher's suspension was without pay. He was suspended with pay.

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Go Figure
Go Figure

According to greatschools dot org, 97% of the students at Botello Elementary are hispanic, 4% are black, and less than 1% are white.

97% of the students are listed as being "economically disadvantaged", and 66% are categorized as being "limited English proficient".

RTGolden
RTGolden

Again.  These problems arise because of the people being elected to the school board.  Stop electing Dallas insiders.  Stop listening to the preachers.  Stop listening to clannish and provincial "community leaders".  Start using your heads.  In school board elections, in city and county government elections and in state and national elections, if the candidate is from one of the two major parties, gets lots of press, and is running a sleek, glittery campaign, then that candidate is not getting elected to serve you.  They are getting elected to serve whomever is paying for all the hype.

The new superintendent, although I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt, will probably not fix the underlying problem of poor management, because the people who hired the bloated and inefficient administration staff are the same elected officials who hired him.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Angel McKoy is indicative of a much larger problem in the DISD, which is to say a principal/administrator who has too much power and not enough good sense to use it. Its another reason I'm hoping this new superintendent  sticks to his promises and and rids this district of bad elements allowing and protecting people such as Ms. McKoy.

Matt1
Matt1

Do you really think DISD would protect Angel McKoy? Who is she? What District would allow a principal to remain the principal if there VALID claims of weapons and drugs being used by elementary students? I personally find how much media attention this teacher is able to obtain a bit hilarious. Think about it for a moment. Why would DISD continue to have the teacher on leave and not the principal? Did it occur to any of you that possibly this teacher could be lying? Teachers are told as early as January if their contracts are being considered for non-renewal... I find it a bit odd that this teacher decides to retaliate...er blow the whistle in March about incidents that "allegedly" happened in January.

NoseyNeighbor
NoseyNeighbor

Student discipline records fall under FERPA and are protected information. If I were the parent of the boy who brought BB gun, I don't want other parents to know the punishment for my son. When principals say something was done, that's it. Period. Stop being nosey.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Uh...no.

Concerned parents can be given written documentation with the offending student's name redacted to prove that the offending student rec'd a suspension or whatever.

It isn't "being nosey" to protect your child.

No one in their right mind believes what a DISD principal tells them bc DISD principals are forced to serve the bureaucrats above them instead of parents and children.

Any DISD principal who tells you otherwise is flat-out lying to you.

And to the 3rd grade teacher who blew the whistle:  pls know that even secondary teachers clear across the district--secondary teachers of all races--are inclined to give you the edge bc everyone knows how this district works.  We know why teachers are non-renewed and we've seen drugs/weapons go glossed over ourselves.  

Evan
Evan

With you on the majority of this, but "we know why teachers are non-renewed" - in this case he is non-renewed because he is still a probationary teacher after 4 years. At the beginning of my 2nd probationary year (non-DISD, mind you) I was told I would not be brought back unless I had my standard certification. While the suspension is crap, the non-renewal seems like attempting to move forward and find a teacher who will take care of their certification requirements in a reasonable amount of time.

Education_Gone_2_Hell
Education_Gone_2_Hell

This is funny! Dumbass you might be right! He couldnt pass the test because he couldn't count from 1-9. Take a look at his list of violations of the principal. I'm still looking for number 8! Education has gone to hell when Math teachers can't count or proofread information that is sent to the state and the press. Come on!

LaceyB
LaceyB

They keep you "probationary" when they do not want to hire you full-time, usually. Either that, or as a teacher, you did something really, really bad. The test is not that hard, in terms of getting certified. The politics, much harder to pass.

Dumbassteacher
Dumbassteacher

A dumb ass teacher is somebody who can't even get his certification in four years. Now how hard is the test and why can't he pass it to get a standard certificate? Dumb ass cry baby.

Matt1
Matt1

I just looked up his certification on SBEC and he is a certified teacher...something doesn't add up. How can you have a standard certificate and be "probationary" for 4 freaking years? I'm just saying... there are some crappy principals out there, but on this issue we only have fractions of a story that the "Math" teacher is not adding up well.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

That's why I had the Dallas Police involved when an incident happened to my kids at school a few years ago.That really trumps the DISD Bull shit !

ChuckE
ChuckE

So which is it: "suspended without pay or explanation" or "placed on paid leave"?

Joe Tone
Joe Tone

Thanks, Chuck. This is fixed. It was an editor's error. Unfortunately I can't say which editor because it's a personnel matter.

Cujo
Cujo

***ATTENTION****This is a paraphrase troll!!!***ATTENTION****"Concerned readers can be given written documentation with the offending editor's name redacted to prove that the offending editor received a suspension or whatever.

It isn't "being nosey" to protect your readers.

No one in their right mind believes what an Unfair Park editor tells them because Unfair Park editors are forced to serve the publishers and owners above them instead of the readers.

Any Unfair Park editor who tells you otherwise is flat-out lying to you."***END***This was a paraphrase troll!!!***END***

I couldn't resist. /me removes tongue from cheek.I rilly, rilly, rilly couldn't.

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