NISD picks up pieces from board reassignment - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

NISD picks up pieces from board reassignment

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

The mood quickly went from joy to anger at Thursday night's Nacogdoches school board meeting. The NISD board is divided and angry with one another.

In an effort to start fresh and please a dissatisfied public the board realigned.

The public is angry over misinformation surrounding the selection of an athletic director. Others are upset over how the last week has crushed the new sense of transparency in the district once felt by teachers.

"But reverted back to the theme of, 'They'll have my head. After all, if they can do this to Coach Farshid, what will stop them from doing this to us?," said Stephen Wright, a member of the East Texas American Federation of Teachers.

Then there's the perceived preferential treatment of students caught under the influence of alcohol at a school dance.

"Everybody should be treated fairly," said Oscar Morales, an NHS alumnus.

Morales referred to two separate incidences where he claims a Hispanic and an African American were both kicked off athletics for one year this semester, while Caucasian students got a lessor penalty.

Caught in the middle is former NISD President Matt Rocco. He wanted Farshid Niroumand replaced as athletic director.

There are allegations he helped the students, possibly his own son, out of a bad situation. He calls that a blatant lie.

One school board member cited his own facts in a motion to replace Rocco as
board president.

"Based on his ultimatum to only communicate through his attorney and the fact he and Dr. Hayes obviously discussed the athletic director without consulting the rest of the school board," said T. D Howarth, board of trustees member.

Tie votes on numerous nominations due to Alan Sowards abstaining got the board no where.

After an executive session, the matter was brought back to the table with Sowards voting this time. Mike Claude is NISD president. Sowards is vice president. He now explains his actions.

"There was an understanding that we, I thought it was, that we were not going to bring it up in this meeting. I didn't want it to go on with people not knowing what was going to happen," said Alan Sowards, NISD Vice President.

The time is here to regain the public's confidence.

"We as a board has to avoid the appearance of impropriety," said NISD Board President Mike Claude.

"And we needed to show the public tat we could police ourselves," said NISD Board member Jay Knott.

Despite the leadership change, it's still a matter of what will happen next.

"I don't know what will happen as a result of this fiasco of reorganizing the board," said Dr. Robert Carroll, retired physician and Nacogdoches resident.

Former NISD president Matt Rocco isn't granting interviews.

Board member Lisa Mize opposed Rocco's replacement. Board member Almarie Henderson-Shumate abstained from voting.

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