(30) comments Back to story

Walter Manuel

So the district is now being forced to use teachers, coaches and principals to monitor the halls for student security.... are they also still using students to monitor the halls when the student is supposed to be working with administration during certain class periods???

It's pretty pathetic to learn that officers are going around to local fast food restaurants and telling business employees not to serve students during lunch because the district can't make sure that students aren't leaving the campuses and yet according to our wonderful administration "there has been no major incidences because of a lack of security"???

There are 4 campuses not two like the district would like people to believe, they forget about our Early Childhood Learning Center, as well as, Westlawn who houses the Renaissance Academy and whose safety and well-being is just as important as any other child in the district!

It's time the district stop pee'ing on someone's leg and trying to convince them that it's raining, put on your big girl/boy pants and tell everybody the mistake that you made by outsourcing our police department and now your mistake has proven to cause a crisis for everyone else!

Wait until something "major" happens to someone's child like has happened in other districts and they'll had wished that they had let one of their friends go in order to finance a police department, but that won't happen because we have too many people with just one more year before they can retire.

Our LM PD and now even the constable's office is providing traffic control at both the middle school and the high school during school dismissal, so why are we paying them to patrol the schools when we already pay double in taxes to the school district which is more than we pay combined for all other city and county taxes?

More importantly, who's patrolling our streets and keeping everyone safe when you have so many officers tied up providing security for the schools? Could this be a little double dipping by both agencies if they are being paid for their service??

The school district created this monster and now they need to deal with it, not involve everyone else who is being paid to do their own jobs.

Food for thought.... why is Thomasine Allen now the Director of Maintenance and Buildings and no longer the Director of Student Support Services? Could it be a set up for Dr. Hudson to be the fall guy when the district receives yet another "improvement required" this year and they let her go only to fill the assistant superintendents position with Thomasine Allen???

Looks like the writing is already on the wall, some people better start learning to read between the lines....[wink]

Walter Manuel

Several district employees, as well as, several people in the community have contacted me regarding my post asking the same question?

Why does LMISD need to pay the Director of Facilities and Maintenance Operations $91,000 a year plus benefits when according to the district all they have is 2 buildings?

Perhaps if the school district wasn't trying to hide all of the approved board meeting minutes since early August, those of us in the community who have been asking for them since September 17th might be able to find out what the board appears to be secretly doing in the dark and we would have learned that we no longer have a Director of Educational Support Services and School Operations?

I sent some open records requests yesterday to Terri Watkins asking for these board meeting minutes from early August and now in September, now that she's in charge we'll see if I have to go through the Attorney General's office once again in order to get them or if she will actually run a professional school district like everyone else in our surrounding area?

Time will soon tell what really lies ahead for our school district....

Carlos Ponce

This sounds like an opportunity to use POPS (Parents on Patrol) to help monitor the halls and grounds of LMISD. While not having the authority to actually intervene, having extra pairs of eyes and ears equipped with a radio can be of help and be of minimum cost. Just the idea of having Grandma on campus will curb some student's appetite for mischief.

Walter Manuel

Carlosrponce, you obviously missed the facebook posting of one of the volunteers who witnessed the students having sex in the high school teachers bathroom, students leaving the campus to go out and smoke their weed and then come back to school only to disrespect and cuss out some teachers, etc, etc.

I suppose if you think that you can make a difference than by all means give it a shot, I wouldn't want my parents or grandparents exposed to such nonsense happening at the high school.

It is what it is...

Carlos Ponce

You're right, I did not see that. So sad to hear that things are that bad.

Gary Miller

Careful consideration of the need for school cops might reveal they were nothing but a "spend or inflate the budget" scheme by past boards.

Hiring unneeded employees is the prefered way to spend budget surplusses.
Discovering or creating a crisis to spend money on is a age old ruse of all bureaucracies.
Are school cops now or were they ever really needed?
That question needs answers before looking for a replacement service.

Walter Manuel

IHOG, if you ask any district employee, teacher, coach, bus driver etc from LMISD the disciplinary problems at LMISD warrants having to have security.

Word on the streets is that come January any students with disciplinary problems or who are failing will be sent back to LMISD Right now other districts are loving having those students because of the money that it gives to their district, however those same districts don't want students who can't pass the STAAR exam and who will affect their academic ratings.

LMISD will gladly take their students back even with their behavior problems just so that they can get the money that they desperately need to survive, unfortunately they will also have students that won't be passing the STAAR exam as well in which could result in LMISD being consolidated if they receive another "improvement required".

So the answer to your question is yes,,,, LMISD definitely has to have some form of security in place to protect those students who remain in the district and actually go to school to learn and not just to have time out away from their parent.

Gary Miller

Responding to Missionaryman
[ IHOG, if you ask any district employee, teacher, coach, bus driver etc. ]

Each of those are part of the bureaucracy that provides their paychecks. More spending is always the goal of any bureaucracy and it's employees. In every employees thinking more hiring equates to promotions, more spending equates to higher pay or benefits.

If LM students attending other districts are unwanted for reasons of conduct it says a lot about what LM ISD became before it pushed these students out.

Walter Manuel

Well, I suppose someone from the school district asked that my comments be removed from article even though everything that I posted was the truth.

Channel 11 did report this morning parents being concerned about the welfare of their children with no security being in the schools, Chief Field's did get an excellent evaluation from Thomasine Allen prior to the police department being disband, there is discipline problems on the school buses, the facebook posting from a volunteer did in fact happen and lastly there was an incident that occurred with some of our dual credit high school students at COM.

So what part of the truth does district officials now want to cover up??? I haven't violated any GDN terms of service by simply stating the facts....

Michael Smith

The comment was removed because it was off topic. No one requested that. The decision was made because by the editor in chief of the paper.


Something has to be done about this problem fast before somnething does happen. The teachers and coaches are not trained responders.What do you think TJ Aulds?

Lars Faltskog

We live in a scary world now. Officers are needed in each building that houses hundreds (if not thousands) of people. And, the clientele in these buildings (schools) are not city opera house or symphony patrons. They are students with developmental issues.

What a crying shame to not have security, there should be no excuse. Perhaps the district should find one, two, or three upper-income individual employees who do nothing but create a couple of "reports" each year in a non-school office, then severely cut their pay, and use the $ to hire some useful security officers. Problem solved.

I'm not from La Marque, but it doesn't take a researcher, consultant, or theorist to come up with such a solution.

Walter Manuel

Bigred, your absolutely right!

Teachers are complaining that they can't teach and provide security in the schools, however because they are locked into their contracts they have no choice but to do as they have been told.

From what I'm hearing from some of the teachers is that the district will be losing even more teachers next year because of the security and discipline issues. It's a shame that our school board members chose to destroy an entire school district in order to get rid of the superintendent and the police chief. It seems apparent that the children were the one's thrown under the bus with absolutely no regard to their safety and well-being?

I suppose though that's what friends do while trying to help their own friends....


Wherever LMISD is now,... they have been regressing to that spot for a long, long time. Many of us have been watching it happen and have said nothing. So let's not be so quick to absolve ourselves from the civic responsibilities we had as constituents and taxpayers of LMISD to step up and complain way back when there were other school board members,...squandering out tax dollars, neglecting academic priorities, goals and benchmarks which once made this district the envy of Texas!
Many of us have long recognized that discipline, order, student control has been a problem at LMISD for years, and not just for a few years like some would like for us to think. Even now,..correcting these type problems is the key to putting LMISD back on the road to recovery or for it to be transformed into a healthy, prospering, academic institution for a first class education! It will never happen without that!
You have to have ORDER,..structure, and unity in anything to be successful,...and this present board must sink it's teeth in that and realize these things have to be done, by any means necessary! ( They don't want me to renew my license and come show them how it is done, because I'll have a lot County agencies working,...Juvenile courts and everybody!)
Lastly, I want to say this, everybody from volunteers to LMPD, to appropriate Constables should help LMISD with the safety of these kids, anyway they can, until this new LMISD Administration can address the issues. They should do so because it is the right thing to do, and and because this is NOT A TIME TO PLAY I GOT YALL,....with the safety of the kids in this community!
I've know this will come as a shock and it should,...but I have made 2-3 mistakes in my life before,..and I know I'm the only one who has. So maybe, this is why I'm willing to give Ms Watkins, the new incoming Superintendent a chance to correct what is wrong in LMISD! I'm also incline to congratulate the sitting LMISD BOARD for having enough wherewithal to go out an acquire her services.
Now, there is a lot of work to do,....BEST WE GET AT IT,...because complaining is not going to do the job. Six months from now if there is not one shred of improvements,...I might be incline to join, the rope party,..but to do so now is MUCH to early, and borderline trivial!

Walter Manuel

Well Mr. JBG, I'm not in such a hurry to give any of these district officials any slack any time soon. The only one NEW that is in the district is Terri Watkins, while the rest of the administrators has already proven what they aren't capable of doing so why would another second of time given to them make a big rodent's behind now???

Oh, and everyone should wait until it eventually comes out about what students are reporting about someone's little escapade in Houston last weekend. LMISD school board and administrators should really be proud when it's proven to be true and eventually published!

Frank Emmite

I guess this is "Missionary Man" column. Again the problem begins at home with parents sharing the attitude of "they better not touch my child". Parents, do your job, students do your job, teachers do your job (and it is kinda like a nurse everything is your job), administrators do your job, let off duty bus drivers be the hall monitors, they have special training in handling sticky situations (don't they) Look from within and solve that way and you may not need anyone else.

Walter Manuel

No Shelly Pearl, this site is for everyone, not just me.

It just so happens that I'm not afraid to stand up for the children of LMISD nor will I turn a blind eye to what others see and tell me who aren't able to say themselves for fear of losing their job with the school district.

While some people want us to not forget where we came from, I'm all about what's most important and that's where are we going from here?

I could easily sit back and let others do what I have been doing for the last year or so, but then I suppose that's just what some people in the district and their supporters would want, however they're no where close to seeing that day happen!

As I've said before, district officials better put on some comfortable shoes and bring a sack lunch because it's going to be a long ride for the both of us....[wink]

Jim Forsythe

Shelly Pearl sounds like a plan unless bad things happen.
Bus drivers are not trained in how to handle people with guns, taking over schools, bomb threats, riots and other things.
LMISD can have police protection now or wait until something happens and try to answer why they didn’t have protection for the students and staff.
If you think it can’t happen, think Sandy Hook.
Pay me now or pay me latter!

Walter Manuel

Bigjim, Bingo!

Absolutely, positively ditto! [thumbup]

Carlos Ponce

The ultimate concern should be the safety of the students, faculty and staff of La Marque ISD. I recommend that City of La Marque patrol the streets around the schools a little more often. I pray that nothing tragic happens to require their presence on campus but to have them within shouting distance would alleviate some fears. While this is not the city's problem per say I say better safe than sorry. The world I grew up in had no police presence on campus but the local law enforcement was there when needed.

George Croix

There can be no greater indictment of the fallacies of parental permissiveness and lack of discipline than the fact that their progeny are all too often feared by adults, and not without reason.
Very 'progressive'...


carlosrponce it's kind of hard for the City of La Marque Officers to patrol the streets around the schools a little more often when they are short handed themselves. I'm not totally positive but last I heard they were 8 Officers short. Even when the school district had officers at the school nothing was done. I called many times of kids skipping school and going to the apartments to smoke dope and whatever else. There are many elderly people and daycares on the street and their well being should be considered also. The last time anything happened when I called was when Chief Washington ran out the building and chased them down. I will say that LMISD needs a Joe Clark to come in and turn this school around.


I don't know JackieM,...but if I did,....I'd like to think We'd get along very well as concerned citizens of Lamarque. JackieM just said something that only ONE OTHER PERSON has said on this forum for years and years! That other person? Well,.. me of coarse!!!
One thing she said which was very profound was when armed Officers were walking around on LMISD campuses, that lawless element present, seemed to STILL BE RUNNING THE SCHOOLS,..doing what they wanted to do! This to me,....was the primary reason the district itself started to regress, years ago!! I know this because many of the students who left years ago were saying this was one of the reasons they were leaving! You don't have to be a Rhode Scholar at the University Of Oxford, England to figure out the cure for what was, and still is ailing LMISD! I'll add that many teachers were saying they were NOT secure in the quality of protection they were receiving at LMISD, offline out of fear retaliation from the top, years ago!
Please note this was BEFORE, the now default LMISD Police Department left!
I will say this again,..there is nothing wrong with LMISD that a few butt kicking dedicated police officers WHO WANT TO DO THEIR JOBS CANNOT CLEAN UP!
Police Officers cannot be controlled by administration,...and told when to write a citation, and when he/she can make an arrest!! That is crazy! If you are going to run a department like that,...You might as well NOT have one!
If you want to see a bunch of deadly hard case ghetto minded street kids who was born and raised around hardcore crime,...go to HOUSTON, where I WORKED, and you will see them! The difference is,...up there the Police officers on the STREETS, and IN THE SCHOOLS don't play like they are police officers protecting the public and their property! They do it!!!!!
I'm not by any means criticizing LMPD nor the Sheriff Department here. I know the kind of job they do, and it is outstanding! I'm alluding to the quality of law enforcement we had in our schools, because I have long observed, the absence of what was needed in those schools, and so did an abundance of students, teachers, and staff who were apart of those schools,..who are no longer there!
Another thing, I'm also going to say this,....if anybody disagrees with me concerning my assessment with ME HAVING WORKED FOR YEARS AS AN OFFICER IN HOUSTON,with the necessary training and experience to back up what I've stated, ...then I really feel sorry for them,..and I'd have to wonder if that individual(s) was personally involved, in the politics of the district or just plan blind to the truth!
JackieM,...thank you for bringing the truth to the front,...because there were some who thought Old JBG was just doing what a lot of people have a habit of doing in this town,...playing politics with other people lives and livelihoods!
Anybody who has been around me and knows me, knows I don't holler unless I hurt, I don't scratch unless I itch,.....and I don't dance unless I hear some music. The truth is the truth, JUST LIKE THAT!!!


Thank you so much Jbgood .....my husband is a LMPD I know he works his tail off ......People do not understand when things like this happens at our schools it takes away from them doing their job on the streets .....EXAMPLE: 2 officers on duty today not only do they control the streets but go to calls like : family's fighting , drug dealers selling drugs , burglaries , deaths, murders, accidents, inmates at the hospital ( really babysitting them because they don't want to be in jail ) fires etc.i could go on and on ......I went to LMHS and graduated from here we never had the problems these kids are causing these teachers ....... We as citizens of LaMarque need to face it it's not like it used to be ...... We need a WHOLE new school board and a new Admistration at the schools that won't take any crap from these kids ........I have lived here all my life I love my town but it's really depressing to see it go down the drain ....City council needs to hire more officers and pay them alittle more maybe we wouldn't be so short .........I LOVE MY LMPD OFFICERS PAST AND PRESENT IT REALLY ASHAME ITHER PEOPLE DON'T ...... God forbid if those people needed them in an emergency

Walter Manuel

OK Mr. JBG, obviously since only 2 of you as you state yourself feel the same way in how security was handled in the past, why don't you now provide your proof with documentation from the school district to back up your claims of their poor job performance?

JackieM is obviously a supporter of Russel Washington's because she only named one instance of what he did by running out of a building after some children, What about the time that he drove past the administration building in his marked LMISD police car when LM PD was on the scene and trying to wave him down and yet he kept going because he didn't want to deal with the elementary students who had been throwing rocks at the house across the street and he left them sitting on the curb crying and administrators from the administration buidling and even a board member had to find a way home for the children?

Yeah your right Mr. JBG, it's easy to try and convince people when you have actual facts to back up your claims, producing the documents would clearly be a start otherwise your claims border on being slanderous against certain people. As an ex- police officer you would be expected to understand this.

Lastly, you are right about things going down hill years many years ago starting with Russel Washington when the district had file cabinets for a safe that was broken into and money, drugs, weapons and other things were stolen out of after Hurricane Ike, the district had raggedy cages to hold students in, whooptie cars to drive that barely drove most of the time etc, etc etc,

If that's what you call a good police department then perhaps people need to make a visit to other school districts to see exactly what they are doing today, not 10-15 years ago and then get back with us.

We want to see the documentation to back up your claims before we even start to believe that the LMISD police department was actually that bad while under Chief Field's. This was obviously personal and had nothing to do with any of our police officer nor the chief's job performance, but since Russel Washington was let go the incompetent school board chose to destroy the entire school district in order to pay back Mr. Burley and Chief Field's.

It's really quite that simple in my opinion....

We'll patiently wait as long as it takes for you to provide your proof just like I did for ya'll some time back.....

Walter Manuel

JackieM, I thought that was you after I posted my last post. If you've been following this security issue with LMISD then you will know that I have been defending our LMPD officers having to work traffic control at the middle school and even working on their days off from the city at the middle school.

We should remember first that just because LMISD wants to save money by refusing to reduce their staff even further by eliminating positions and forcing LMPD to do this service for free, the district forgets about the hardship that it places on ALL of our LMPD men in women in uniform protecting those of us in our community for which city tax payers are paying for the service not citizens of West Texas City.

I suppose it really doesn't matter to most of the school board members though seeing how the majority of the board live in West Texas City and their safety and well-being is not affected by their decision in the least?

We do appreciate our officers for the job that they do while being short handed, dealing with the monster that the LMISD created is totally unfair and the district needs to cut some more of their friends and live like a 3A school district not a 5A like we once were and the rest of their problems very well may take care of themselves.

Thank you JackieM for being a police officers wife and supporting him through these trials and tribulations!


My honest opinion LMISD PD hasn't been the same since Chief Campbell left. But again that is my opinion. Others might have a different opinion. I just know that these kids are out of control. They follow by example.


Mr. Manuel, what do you think is borderline slander, the fact that I said in my professional opinion, the law enforcement in the schools of LMISD could have been better over the years?
Did I call out anyone personally in the schools and said they did or did not do this or that? You want to bring Mr. Washington's name up every opportunity you can,..I would suppose because you don't like him,..I don't Know. On the other hand everybody knows YOU was a staunch supporter of his replacement, and Mr. Ecomet Burly.
I'll will say this again and move on from it,....there were many children leaving this district for years, and I talked with some of them in convenience stores and fast food businesses,..and they said one of the reasons they were leaving was because, there were no discipline at LMISD schools and they wanted to go where it was a safer, learning atmosphere! I STAND BY THAT! You are the one who bought up JOB PERFORMANCE, I did not! I said law enforcement in the schools was lacking and I Alluded to the fact that it could have been because the officers were controlled by administration! I also said that the lawless elements in the schools seemed to be running the schools even though there were armed police officers on duty. You prove otherwise! I don't have to prove anything. I stated my opinion!
The only ones I support are the children who are being short-changed a decent education, and I won't get into any back and forward, panny-anny,political arguments over that on this forum. If that is your intention,...I'll have to beg off,..I'm not interested. However, I will continue to state my opinions,...when I feel there is a need to do so. You, ahhh,...you have a nice evening.
P.S. You know something Mr. Manual, I actually admire your willingness to stand up and fight for better conditions in the community, but one of the things I have a problem with, concerning you... is you think you are right 100% of time and there was only ONE individual I'm aware of who was ever that. Why don't you try lowering you tone and criticism of people and seek to be bipartisan,... I think more results here will be realized if you did that!

Jim Forsythe

Back to question: is professing help needed for protection.
“Thursday night, La Marque police investigated a student's Facebook posts about threats to "shoot up" La Marque High School“.
So LMISD needs to decide if they want to limp along with a patchwork department or find a way to fund a real department . They also need to decide if they will let them do their job. If the answer is no then bad things may be over the next hill.
If the answer is yes they need to get started.
As far as volunteers doing the job who is going to check out all the volunteers(sex crimes and other bad things) and make them aware of what they can and can’t do. Also what happens if students attack them, maybe lawsuits?

Walter Manuel

Mr. JBG, it's not my purpose to go a tit for a tat with other posters here on the forum, however I was asked by several of you posters to provide back up for what I was saying about the LMISD police department and so I did the extra work that it took to prove what those officers and Chief Field's did on a daily basis, there was no guessing but actual proof.

When I first got started with this whole mess was because so many people had contacted me asking that I help find out what was going on with the school district and why so many kids were leaving?

For your information, me and several other community members met with the current board supporters and found that they had no basis other than personal reason's that they wanted to see Mr. Burley gone and that was because he let Russel Washington go, To leave Russel out of the equation would mean there would be NO beginning to how this has all played out up until today. I made an honest attempt to hear out their side without every having speaking with Mr. Burley nor Chief Field's.

I personally used my vacation days, my gas and many hours driving home in order to find the truth about what was really going on and saw that i didn't like what I heard nor was seeing so I really got involved.

I've been called a racist, liar and everything else by certain people, but I can assure you and everyone else when I was spending all of this time coming down and meeting with parents and other members of the community, I had never met Mr. Burley nor Timothy Field's in my life. As we all know they are African American and I am Hispanic, so the racist part was just the best that they could fight me with and they lost.

Mr. Burley and Mr. Field's never asked me to get involved, it was only later that I actually met Mr. Burley for the first time at the TRE election in the parking lot at city hall even though I had been before the school board defending him and Mr. Field's.

So no, again it wasn't discipline in the schools in my opinion that drove students away, it was the school board members and certain district employees who made parents mad while trying to fire Mr. Burley and Mr. Field's illegally that caused over 400 students to immediately leave the district. There's documentation to support my claim.

The quality of education today in our schools is what continues driving students away, not discipline, again that's my opinion. Besides, discipline is the responsibility of the administrators as best that I understand it, it's only when law's are broken that law enforcement should be required to get involved.

I can assure you, I do my homework in order to substantiate my claims and from what I fouind out was that Mr. Burley and Mr. Field's were both being railroaded by a group of friends who got elected to the board in order to get rid of these district employees. One baord member you will remember even stated " I look forward to working with this board" and now we all know why he responded in the manner that he did.

If you think I'm lying, check the board meeting minutes and see how often Staci Crawford or Annie Burton has been there since the police department has been dissolved and then you might understand a little better that it's not about being friends with anybody, it's about everybody being treated fairly no matter what side of the fence that you might be on.

And lastly, where was our wonderful new superintendent when channel 13 was at the administration buildingasking for a comment and no one was available to give a comment???

This is exactly what we saw when we had 2 interim assistant superintendents, no one ever available to make a comment, so what's changed except for the name of our superintendent?

At least Mr. Burley put on his big boy pants and faced the cameras or spoke to the news reporters even when things wasn't looking good for the district!

I rest my case, have a good evening sir....

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