Harlingen, Texas (KVEO)—The Association of Brownsville Educators (AOBE), along with the The Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA) and the National Education Association (NEA) created a petition asking for a vote of no confidence for Brownsville Independent School District (BISD)Superintendent Rene Gutierrez.
The petition says Gutierrez failed to effectively lead the school district prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Dr. Gutierrez has unfortunately demonstrated a high disregard for the BISD community by frequently isolating and failing to communicate effectively with all necessary affected groups.” reads the petition.
“He has failed to lead the district efficiently and effectively to operating safely during this pandemic. It is truly unfortunate, the current state Brownsville ISD is in, under the leadership of Dr. Gutierrez.”
The petition says Gutierrez ” has fostered an environment of disrespect, hostility, retaliation, and an all-time low morale amongst all groups.”
The petition also claims Gutierrez provided the district’s employees with expired hand sanitizers and has not provided adequate guidance to the staff regarding safety concerns.
As of Friday, more than 600 people have signed the petition.
Brownsville ISD responded to the petition by commending the work that the district has done during the pandemic.
“BISD has continued to provide meals during the pandemic since March, the summer, and at the start of the school year. The district has also provided teachers raises and has purchased $10 million dollars of school supplies, internet hotspots, laptops, and iPads, to enhance distance learning.”
The district’s statement did not directly disagree with the petition’s accusations, but defended the work of the overall district.
“The district respects the associations’ opinions, however, it is the responsibility and obligation of the BISD superintendent to follow and adhere state and federal guidelines such as the Texas Education Agency and the United States Department of Education to provide the highest quality of instruction during these extraordinary and difficult times.”
Lastly, BISD stated that their goal is to make sure this school year goes well for all involved.
“BISD has developed a plan of action to safely begin the phase-in process of allowing students to attend face-to-face instruction as required by state guidelines. This plan has been presented to the Board of Trustees and Administration to start the implementation of the reopening phase in late September.”