On March 6th, thirteen parents attended the open forum during the Eastland Independent School District Board of Trustees meeting. A handful of them expressed concerns about this particular teacher saying he would constantly fall asleep, show aggressive behavior and speak profanity.
"He said the F-word directly to my son and that raised some red flags," Ruben Zarate said. "He's not even attempting (to) teach these kids what they need to learn."
After learning about the news, Zarate says he approached the teacher but felt unsatisfied during the meeting. According to Eastland ISD Superintendent Donald Hughes, if any parent has a complaint, they must follow a grievance protocol where they must notify from the 'bottom up.'
Zarate received a letter from the school principal after requesting for some sort of record that action has taken place. It addresses that the principal spoke with each child in the class, receiving mix of responses that the teacher said the word. It further states that the teacher denied having used the word in question and later apologized to the entire class.
"I honestly felt it was more of an interrogation," Zara expresses. "They asked each student as if they were trying to change their story."
In addition, all the parents have heard from their kids that the teacher grabbed a student's arm and pushed him against the cafeteria wall. His parents approached the teacher about the matter and he replied, "Sometimes I get so mad I see stars."
"He's expressed violent actions," says Marissa Meeks, one of the parents. "The safety of our children is our main concern."
All of the complaints were addressed during the school board meeting even if it wasn't part of the agenda. However, parents say they feel it was just 'swept under the rug' after learning the same teacher had his contract renewed.
"We're not trying to fire the teacher," Ben Trent, a concerned father said. "He clearly needs some help and we would like to know that the district, officers and school board is working for us and not against us."
At the end, all the parents say they would like more of a disciplinary action and a deeper investigation. Superintendent Hughes told KTAB that there's been conferences with the teacher since the meeting and handed the matter back to the elementary school administration.
KTAB contacted the elementary school principal and has yet to hear back as of Monday night.
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