EL PASO, Texas -- El Paso Independent School District Superintendent Juan Cabrera was recently photographed not wearing a face mask while sitting next to his daughter at a 3-team volleyball scrimmage at Franklin High School, that also involved El Paso and Canutillo high schools, raising the hackles of parents who are not allowed to attend athletic events.
The photo was taken just days before EPISD's Tuesday announcement that it was canceling all games against other schools in districts who are letting parents attend games. EPISD's current athletic events policy doesn't allow for spectators amid concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
The image of Cabrera, confirmed by the district, was provided to ABC-7 on Tuesday night by Kendal Brown Jessup. She's a parent who operates a 2,200 member Facebook group called "Let School Bells Ring," comprised of other EPISD parents as well as teachers. She said some school board members are even among the group's followers.
Jessup said the photo had circulated among some parents in her group and she "shares the concerns with these parents who are upset because they have children in sports and are not able to to watch them play - but Cabrera's able to sit down and enjoy a game with his daughter."
An EPISD spokesman defended Cabrera's attendance at the spectator-less event, saying: "He was there as an administrator in the district. He is the top administrator in the district."
But Jessup said she didn't accept that explanation. If Cabrera can attend and not wear a mask, she said she still wonders why parents who are willing to wear masks can't go to the games.