Concerned citizens hold special meeting to discuss BISD

It was standing room only at the R.C. Miller Memorial Library Saturday, as dozens of members of the Facebook group "BISD Board Watch" gathered to discuss their concerns about the Beaumont Independent School District.

"We all would like to be more active with the schools, to have our voice heard, and this is a good vehicle for it," said Jerry Williams, who has two kids in BISD schools.

The group included parents, teachers, and school board members.

"It's things like this that (let) you know that you have this big ground swell of public support that make you want to continue to fight for what you know is right," said attorney and Beaumont City Councilman Mike Getz.

It was no coincidence the meeting fell on the same day a BISD school board election was supposed to be held. Many people at the meeting could not understand how the election could be cancelled due to problems with redistricting maps.

Getz led most of the discussion at the meeting. Getz represented Marcelino Rodriguez, Linda Gilmore, Donna Forgas, and current trustee Mike Neil in their fight to be on the May ballot for trustee positions.

"I really upsets me, but for those of you that are going to continue to do this, I'm going to continue too," Rodriguez said to the crowd.

Aside from being a venue for questions and concerns to be raised, the meeting also served as a forum for "Board Watch" members to finally meet many of the people they had only known through Facebook.

"People need to get out and be involved in what's going on in their towns and their community," said BISD trustee Tom Neild, who attended the meeting.

"It is a good school district, it really is, and I don't think anyone here would say different, it's a matter of making it better," said Williams.

A federal judge ruled the school board election can be held in November, and that only the three seats scheduled to expire this year, those of Gwen Ambres, Tom Neild, and Janice Brassard, should be on the ballot.


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