Gustine Independent School District parents showed up en masse Thursday night in response to an incident on Monday where the Principal Alan Luker and the Girls Basketball Coach had 24 students lower their pants in order decide who had left feces on the gym floor.
The school board delayed its formal meeting to listen to the objections of furious parents.
WFAA8 reported that the district had confirmed that the two administrators involved are on leave and that the superintendent is still conducting his own investigation into the situation.
While some parents were upset about the story getting out of the small town, many supported Maria Medina, parent of an 11 year old student.
“This town is more concerned about the image of Gustine, and about the adults and their jobs than they are about the children,” she told the 4 member board.
The story had gone viral on Wednesday and Thursday trending #1 on social media and was covered by hundreds of media outlets on the local and national level.
The words of 11-year-old Eliza Medina, “I felt uncomfortable, and I didn’t want to do it, I felt like they violated my privacy”, resounded across the nation, resulting in millions of comments from angry readers as they commented on stories that spread quickly in the age of New Media.
Again, it is the opinion of this writer that someone needs to be fired…not for this incident…but for the ineptness that caused them to think this was a good idea in the first place. Schools do not even do lice or scoliosis checks without the permission of parents.
The message needs to be clear to both Gustine ISD and schools across the country that it is not acceptable to pull children’s pants down… for any reason!
If you would like to voice your opinion, you can contact Superintendent Baugh at (325) 667-7303 or email him at [email protected]
Eliza’s mom explained that educators “have been finding poop on the gym floor.” She can imagine the frustration, but said even for feces on the floor you don’t partially strip search a group of students to find the culprit.
“I was furious… I mean, I was furious,” Medina said. “If you can’t do your job or you don’t know what you’re doing, you need to be fired. You shouldn’t be here.”
Eliza said she tried to protest.
“I said I didn’t want to, but I was told I had to because all the kids had to,” she said.
Gustine Independent School District Superintendent Ken Baugh acknowledged that making kids drop their drawers goes too far. “That’s not appropriate, and we do not condone that. So you would take disciplinary action.”
But Baugh said early into the investigation, his understanding is that the children were told to lower their pants just a little.
Eliza Medina insists it was more than that.
“Like… to where your butt is,” is how she put it.