Pineland community members meet to voice concerns about local school district

By Holley Nees - bio | email

PINELAND, TX (KTRE) - There weren't really any specific questions answered at the meeting in Pineland, people were there just to voice their concerns.   Not everyone agreed what community action, if any, should be taken on school officials, but everyone seemed to agree on one thing, the community should stick together to find the best future for West Sabine Independent School District.

"I wanted to find out the truth here," said concerned grandparent Ray Moris.

Moris is one of many that endured the heat just to get some answers.

"I hear of this misuse of money, misuse of power.  It's not the school it was when I left so I want to figure out what's going on here," former West Sabine High School student Chris Reynolds said.

Concerned Citizen Belinda Reynolds said, "We don't want Pineland or Hemphill, or this county to go the way of so many other that have just dried and died."

"I have a 5-year-old little girl.  I grew up and went to school here, but if things don't change, she won't be going to school here," said former West Sabine High School student David Fussell.

That's why Ronald Barlow, former principal of West Sabine High School, said he's taking a stand.

"These are my kids whether they're entrusted to me for their education or not," Barlow said.  "I just happened to be the one that needed to step forward."

KTRE asked him about the allegations he made against the superintendent in his ad claiming misuse of funds, but he said that's not his responsibility.

"I'm not the one that needs to be proving those allegations," Barlow said.

However, Glinda Clark wants Barlow to support his claims with facts.

"The funding, is it up? Yes, we're almost to a million dollars...These are things that I want to know.  What Mr. Barlow put in the paper is a lot of what he heard and what people has told him," said Clark.

Barlow stands by his printed word, while some are left trying to sort out the details.

Concerned aunt Vivian Scott said, "It's been alright until this year, you know everything's been fine.  There's just so much confusion going on."

Not everyone was happy at the end of the meeting, but for Ray Moris, he's confident answers will come.

"Oh yes, I see a bigger light.  It's not just a glimmer now, I see some light," Moris said.

KTRE attempted to contact the superintendent, Travis Edwards, at his work, but there was no answer.   When we talked to him Wednesday he said he would not comment on Barlow's allegations.  He said, "I don't comment on rantings of a disgruntled former employee."