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School board hears parental complaints

MABTON - For more than 20 minutes Tuesday night at Mabton's School Board meeting, a group of six parents asked the board to take action about what they feel are mistreatments of their children by school officials.

"I've gone through the protocols," said Rachel Ruelas, a parent of two district students, explaining to board members why she was there.

Ruelas and the other parents in attendance told board members that students were being mistreated by being fed cold, often frozen, lunches instead of hot lunches they pay for.

The parents also said students have missed bus rides home and have had to walk across town in freezing temperatures. All this has happened because the students misbehave and end up in detention, the parents alleged.

Though the conversation was not on the agenda, board members heard the complaints and did their best to assure parents that proper steps would be taken to ensure things were addressed.

"We appreciate you bringing it to us," said board Chairman Manuel Guzman.

Guzman, however, said the board does not deal in personnel matters and can't address the issues specifically, especially if they are unsubstantiated.

"You have to understand that you're not going to get an answer tonight," Guzman said. "This is an item that's out of my hands."

That wasn't enough to satisfy parents who, at times, became very vocal about their displeasure with what they feel is an unfair situation.

"I'm sorry to get out of hand," Ruelas said. "But I'm very upset."

Guzman was adamant about making sure parents go through the process of talking to teachers and school administrators before coming to the board. But he told parents they would get responses to their concerns.

"We will do everything we can," he said.

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