Former Bowie High Principal Dr. Jesus Chavez asked the El Paso Independent School District Board to consider giving him his job back, but in an unanimous decision, they denied his appeal.
Chavez was reassigned from being principal of Bowie High to working on administrative duties in April because of his alleged involvement in the cheating scandal that rocked EPISD and just sent former superintendent Dr. Lorenzo Garcia to federal prison.
At the board meeting on Tuesday, he asked to be a principal again, but the board chose to uphold previous administrative recommendations, a decision that ties him once again to the public corruption scandal.
Chavez wants to be a principal again, but he's going to have to fight for it.
The EPISD board members denied Chavez's grievance appeal and a chance to be principal again, not only at Bowie, but any school within EPISD. They decided to side with recommendations made at the time of his reassignment.
“We are disappointed at the board's decision but I think we're going to step back, analyze our options and take it from there,” said Chavez’s lawyer Paul Escobar.
Chavez was reassigned in April for administrative duties after he told investigators he violated district rules and said he had to bend policy. Some teachers accuse Chavez of forcing students out of school, not following due process which is against the law. teachers also claim he changed grades and gave students credit for courses they have not yet taken just to manipulate test scores. And they don't want him back.
“The people I talk to are very concerned that if he is put back at Bowie, which is what the grievance is asking for, I understand, that there will be retaliation of any teacher, or any student or any staff member that gave testimony,” said teacher representative Frances Wever.
Wever was one of three that spoke against Chavez's return, in a room packed with his supporters.
“The reason they're speaking out against him is because Dr. Chavez demanded results of his teachers,” said Bowie teacher Mauricio Olague. “There was accountability at Bowie and they took away our good principal for nothing.”
Chavez's attorney said they will continue to appeal the district’s decision and should have a new plan of action in the next few days also.
Also at the meeting: the board decided on a search firm to find their new superintendent. They chose Proact Search and will be paying them about $25,000 to do the job.