School board says approval needed before colors added

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

PREMONT School board members had a heated discussion last week over who had the authority of adding black to their red and white school colors and new logos put on football helmets without the consent of the board.

"It's not necessarily the color, it's the procedure," Board President Olga Ramirez said.

Another board member agreed.

"It looks like it was very deceiving," Yvonne Sanchez said.

The board members were referring to the changes newly-hired athletic director David Montano initiated to the football program that included replaces the Cowboy logo on the helmets with a star decal and adding black to the football uniforms. Even though other organizations for several years, such as the band, cheerleaders and the volleyball team already have added a touch of black to their uniforms, the board did not agree with Montano.

The new logos and uniforms were paid for by a donation of $15,000 to the athletic department.

The board Tuesday night decided to put in place a policy that will give the board authority to make decisions on uniforms, logos and flags pertaining to the school colors and mascot.

Superintendent David Garza suggested that he research other district policies and that he would have a proposal written up for the board by the next meeting.

"I think we can clear this up by doing policy because we don't have policy (in place)," Garza said.

Board members wanted a checks and balance system so Montano would answer to the high school principal and not only the superintendent.

"I was under the understanding that the athletic director answered to the principal," Ramirez said.

Board members said that because the purchase order did not reflect the actual order of the star decals and uniform changes, the board was not aware of the decision.

"I will vote to pay for them, but I do not agree, I'm very against the way the bills are paid," Sanchez said.

The board members' concern was that any employee could in the future make decisions that would change a long-standing tradition in Premont.

"We are fighting (against) the black color and we need to go red and white all the way or not," board member Arturo Arellano said. "We need to be consistent."

Board member Gilbert Trevino agreed.

"We are going to sing the school song and have to add the black (color) in," he said.