Tensions rose during discussion of benchmark data at last Tuesday’s meeting of the Kingsville Independent School District Board of Trustees, resulting in a confrontation between the board president and two trustees as well as the ejection of two audience members.
During the meeting, Assistant Superintendent Daniel Smith along with the district’s campus principals presented the results of benchmark data during the 2020-21 academic year as well as interventions they will be putting in place for next year.
STAAR testing results were not included in the presentation as the Texas Education Agency canceled testing for the second semester because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The presentation began with the elementary campus principals each
discussing the data and their planned interventions. The third presenter was Kleberg Elementary Principal Norma Mancias-Prado, who is also the wife of board trustee Nick Prado. At the end of her presentation, President Brandon Greenwood asked Mancias-Prado about parental involvement effort on campus.
“You had a great turnout at the last parent meeting,” Greenwood said. “It was a packed house. I don’t think we got them the information the way they really understood what was going on - I think a lot of them came for the food - but that’s okay, at least we got them through the door.”
Greenwood then brought up an incident where he observed a parent “just ripping into a teacher in a classroom full of kids,” and said the district needs to “befriends our parents” and treat them on an even playing field.
Board Secretary Corando Garza then interjected and told Greenwood that he was “picking on” and “badgering” Mancias-Prado, which the board president denied.
“I’m not picking, sir,” Greenwood said. “This is what I’ve observed, and that’s why I’m bringing it up, just like you guys have (with other administrators).”
As Garza and Greenwood continued their argument, with Greenwood banging his gavel several times during their exchange, audience member Andre Ortiz interjected by telling the board president to “calm down.”
“Jesus Christ, it’s personal,” Ortiz said.
Greenwood then told Ortiz to put his facemask back on, then had local law enforcement escort him. “I am going to run this meeting,” Greenwood said after Ortiz had been escorted out. “And if anybody wants to walk out, you’re welcome to.”
Greenwood called for a three-minute break before continuing the presentation. During the break, Corando Garza and Greenwood continued to argue. Prado also confronted the board president, as did Assistant Principal Noemi Ortiz, whose son Greenwood had escorted from the meeting.
Greenwood repeatedly asked Noemi Ortiz to step away from the dais before calling for law enforcement to escort her out as well.
Both Andres Ortiz and Noemi Ortiz were allowed back in after the meeting had resumed. Mancias-Prado left the meeting during the break, while her husband remained.