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El Paso ISD board to discuss recommended termination of teacher following investigation for testing irregularities

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- El Paso ISD's board of trustees will discuss the recommended termination of a Lundy Elementary School teacher following an investigation by the district where they said testing irregularities occurred.

The board will discuss this during a board meeting at 2 p.m., with the subject being discussed during executive session.

ABC-7 had brought you this story on Friday, May 17, when parents from Lundy Elementary told ABC-7 that the school had conducted an investigation where district officials asked questions to the kids regarding Nicole Schuster's (the teacher in question) actions during the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test.

Ross Moore, president of the El Paso American Federation of Teachers (AFT), says the current situation has caused concern for teachers.

“My members see this and they just start thinking, Where else can I go? Yes, there's a teacher shortage. This sends a message that if you come here, you've got no rights, you have no protections," said Moore.

EPISD had previously told ABC-7 in a statement:

"El Paso ISD can confirm testing irregularities occurred within a 3rd-grade classroom at Lundy Elementary in relation to the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exam. The District places great importance on these matters and has investigated the allegations while adhering to the reporting requirements and interview protocols set forth by the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

In consideration of the sensitive and confidential nature of this matter, we are unable to provide further information. Please understand that our primary focus is on safeguarding the privacy of all individuals involved and upholding the integrity of the investigative process."

Parents of Lundy Elementary had also told ABC-7 that the manner in which the investigation was conducted was not proper.

Calista Grant, a parent at Lundy Elementary, said, “Our kids were provided their statements and questioned under significant duress. They were all extremely nervous, they thought they were in trouble.”

Another parent told ABC-7 that parents were upset because the kids were questioned without their knowledge.

ABC-7 reached out to all members of the EPISD board of trustees for comment on the situation ahead of the discussion on Tuesday, May 21.

Daniel Call was the only member to respond back and said in part quote:

“All I can say is that as a parent of a 9-year-old boy in the district I know how important a good teacher is, especially at this crucial age. As you know, this is very difficult and delicate situation. The full details of what happened will never be known publicly because of the legal issues surrounding these allegations.

All I can say is that I will diligently review the details of the investigation and make the decision that I feel is in the best interest of the children and our school district.”

With the discussion on the recommended termination occurring during executive session, Moore says it's important for parents to have the opportunity to speak before the discussion.

“Mr. Irrobali, let your constituents speak before you go to the back room, before you go through your deliberations, because you need to listen to them," said Moore.

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