MERCEDES, Texas (KVEO) — The Mercedes Independent School District (ISD) school board voted not to place its superintendent on administrative leave amid charges placed on a Mercedes coach for having an inappropriate relationship with a student.
The school board convened on Thursday to address whether or not to remove Superintendent Carolyn Mendiola and whether or not to reorganize the administrative positions within the board.
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The shakeup among the trustees comes days after former Harrell Middle School coach David Reyes was arrested for having an inappropriate relationship with a student. The full details of the case have yet to be made public.
Before the board voted on these matters, the public was allowed to make comments.
Mercedes residents in favor and opposed to the removal of the superintendent voiced their concerns on the matter.
One speaker directly blamed Mendiola for allowing the situation to happen as he claimed she “knew what was going on” and “hid information.”
Another citizen claimed her daughter was present in the class that Reyes taught and was distraught by the fact she had to worry about the situation.
“For me to have to sit with my 13-year-old daughter with special needs and ask her if her teacher touched her, that’s so not fair,” exclaimed the mother. “This should have been reported when it happened.”
She also charged the school board for “hiding” the situation.
“I have no faith in the school district anymore,” she continued. “You guys need to get your s*** straight.”
Conversely, the next resident opposed the decision to remove the superintendent. He stated that the school board members are in place for the good of the school and not to oust people they do not like.
Additionally, he condemned social media posts airing district business and labeled it “heresy.”
Another speaker disagreed with removing the superintendent. He noted that Mendiola has done a good job and listed several positives of her being in charge.
However, he stated she has a problem with transparency and this has led to the “heresy” complained about within members of the community.
The last speaker defended Mendiola for “abiding by the law” in regards to the coach situation. She then claimed that unspecified board members are compensating someone to “destroy the reputations of certain people.”
Tensions ran high once the members moved on with the agenda. Before they could vote on whether or not to reorganize the administrative positions of the board, several members spoke out in favor or support of other members.
School board president Oscar Hernandez acknowledged that he could have kicked this item off of the agenda, but allowed it because he is “impartial.” He then defended his time on the school board by stating the children are always his number one priority.
The effort to place Mendiola on paid administrative leave failed 5-2.