Security called in for meeting which included students, parents

Melissa Ash, The Premont Journal

Premont Police Department officers provided extra security as parents, students and faculty gathered at last week's special school board meeting on May 23.

The meeting began with the appointing of school board members to office.

Continuing as president will be Olga Ramirez and Carmela Garcia as secretary. After the assigning of office positions, the board listened to pleas from parents requesting their children be allowed to walk at graduation despite not meeting their TAKS test requirements.

Board member Mark Cantu requested the superintendent make a recommendation as to the actions the board should take regarding the issue.

"I have no recommendation on the issue, it is up to the board," superintendent David Garza said. "If you want my recommendation it is to uphold policy."

After the board decided to uphold policy and not allow the seniors to walk at graduation they moved on to the agenda items.

The next item discussed was the adoption of a resolution for the sale of property owned by the appraisal district. A motion to adopt the resolution was made by Arturo Arellano, but citizen Yolanda Morin quickly spoke out requesting permission to address the board.

"As a property owner I ask that the board goes back to the attorney to address this item," Morin said. "It needs to be more specific so that it allows people near the property to come forward and voice their opinion. It's ambiguous and I ask for you to address this with your attorney to see if it should be more specific.

"Also, because this is a special meeting there is no option for public comment and you should address this with your attorney as well," she said.

A motion to rescind his motion was made by Arellano and the board took a recess so that the attorney could be contacted.

Once the meeting resumed, Garza stated the attorney advised him the wording of the agenda item was acceptable. The motion to adopt the resolution was unanimously approved by the school board.

A recommendation to provide an address of the property for sale in the future was made by Ramirez.

The board then voted to approve the payment of election day expenses and then went into closed session.

After two hours, the meeting resumed and the board requested a motion on allowing senior Albert Gonzalez to walk with his class at graduation.

No motion was made, therefore, the superintendent and principal's decision not to allow the student to walk was upheld. Gonzalez had been arrested during school after police K-9 units found unusable amounts of marijuana in his vehicle, school officials said.

"The county attorney dropped the charges for insufficient evidence and he has never been in this kind of trouble before," his mother Angie Barrera said. "In the past, they have caught students with worse substances and still allowed them to walk. What's the difference? It shouldn't of come to this level; it's not right."