Santa Maria Students Protest Suspension of Superintendent

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POSTED: Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - 10:31am

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - 3:52pm

Many students risk receiving zeros on daily work Tuesday, will miss competing in athletic events Tuesday night and face the possibility of suspension when they return to class tomorrow. But the risk they are taking, by missing class to protest, they say, is well worth it.

"We're going to stand up for what's right, because like this sign says, "stand up for something, or fall for anything." said 18 year old SMHS Class President, Nerieda Villarreal, as she pointed to a protest sign.

Nearly two dozen students are exercising their right to be heard after they were allegedly ignored at last night's school board meeting.

They had hoped to address the school board on the anticipated dismissal of the district's top leader, superintendent Dr. Wilma Jo Smetter.

"They didn't let us speak, the best they could have done was that, we deserve it, and it's obvious that us students want her here, and that's something they didn't take into consideration." said Villarreal.

In just over five minutes, the board members retreated to executive session, came back to open session, voted Smetter out, 5 to 2, and dismissed the meeting, skipping the public comments section on the agenda.

One of the two board members that voted against the suspension of Dr. Smetter shed some light as to why she was let go.

"I would say just personal things, to me, it seemed last night was not for what's happening with our district, but it happened for other reasons." said veteran school board member, Oscar Saldivar Jr.

Shortly after Saldivar spoke with News Center 23, school board president Consuelo De La Rosa exited the administration building. Once again, she avoided our camera and the students and parents who are seeking answers regarding Smetter's suspension.

"That's not being here for our kids, how come she doesn't turn around, get in front of the camera, come to the kids, "okay let me hear you out", she doesn't explain nothing." said frustrated parent Veronica Rivera.

Smetter supporters say they aren't giving up, even after they put down their signs, the fight will continue.

"We're going to continue calling TEA (Texas Education Agency), we're going to continue doing everything we can to get Dr. Smetter back hopefully." said concerned parent Belinda Lugo.

The only person allowed to disclose details on Smetter's release, the attorney for the school district, Gustavo Acevedo, did not return our calls by deadline on Tuesday. As of now, the official reason behind Smetter’s release is still not clear.

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It is time now to address the issue of low student achievement from another angle. This is the 2nd administrator, no real change. The parents must prepare the students outside of the class by encourging them and exposing them to the skills they,the parents, already know. School administrators can only do so much. I attended SMSD long ago. I learned that reading/math were important just by watching my Dad do simple reading and add/subtr. I wanted to exceed that and I did thanks to him.

Dr. Smetter is a great Superintendent who always has the best interest of the children at heart. Many people are ignorant and do not understand that it is not always the Superintendent but it could possibly be the children. She inherited this problem from the previous Superintendent who was worthless and needless to say was there to collect a check. SMID was so far behind with the times that when Dr. Smetter came onboard she tried tirelessly to update technology and curriculum. Give her a break!

As far as the studnts skippng out,I agree with earlier commnts that these studnts,parnts,& irresponsible stff membrs needto b held accountble.Truancy charges should b assessed and they should b penalized from xtracurr.activ.…no exceptions.During school hrs protests are illegal becse they r disrupting instr. Admin & Law Enforc.should have the authority to remove dis protesters from the premises immediately for disorderly conduct.The dist should have policies agains this as other schls do.

Hey People!! If the new school board is making decisions which are in the best interest of the kids, I applaud them and congratulate them. Do not back down and for goodness sake please stay the course. You are doing the right thing by not disclosing anything. For those of you that don't know, that is Board Member Basics 101.

#2 Your Superintendent has being at the helm for 2 years already and nothing has really improved. At least not for the district. To top it off she gets a 3 year contract valued at almost 100 thousand a year. Mind you, this was only after a year on the job and it had never been done in this school before. Correct me if I am wrong, but it does not appear like you are getting a good return on your investment. Academics should always be first. Everything else is secondary.

#1 -Enough People! Few of you have touched on the #1 commodity of the school which are the students. Has anybody taken the time to check the TAKs scores lately (TEA website and it’s public information)? The district is barely Academically Acceptable and this is only because of a TPM boost that the State granted to upgrade the scores. Otherwise, the district would have been unacceptable. Why? For the last 2 out of the last 3 years, the Middle School has been Unacceptable. Why?

With all due respect “956” in the real world it doesn’t work that way. Wishful thinking!!! It’s like saying letstudents run schools. Again,I’m so sorry but this is an impossibility.Students have never being involved with hiring or firing Supts and they are not about to start either. It’s never going to happen. Studts that skipped classes and risked their grades should be suspended from school and penalized from extracurricular activity.Other schools do it and this district should do the same.

As you are all aware on the stupidity the President of the School Board and her puppets did in pursuing the suspension of Dr. Smetter. Puppets because that’s what DLR wanted was ignorant people that she can manipulate and do her bidding. You all think by suspending Dr. Smetter with pay, and hiring an interim superintendent the School District can support this financially for how long? At the end who is paying for this decision, the students!

Idk about all of you, but the only awesome De La Rosa at school is Mr. DLR the art teacher, who has no relation whatsoever to the school board member...
& my advice, fire all those board members with the exception of the 2 who stood against them, hire from the outside.

The biggest shame should go out to the media for allowing this blog to continue. Nothing is ever settled with accusations and personal bashings... I can't believe KVEO is letting this go on and letting a small community continue to bicker and quarrel. Why didn't this story make channel 5 or channel 4 ?
Maybe because this story is not as big as people make it to be. Supts. are always being suspended for different reasons... and some people will always be opposed to the decision.

Contd...on the wrong day. And it doesn't surprise me one bit that these ignorant people still continue to think that it's about who won & who lost during elections when it should be about the kids! I hope everyone keeps this in mind when Chelo runs for reelection in November!

because of the benefits. Thank goodness its almost my last year to put up with all of this. Is this like the school thats always making news? C'mon be on the news for a good reason (good grades, outstanding kids) not for crook people messing up this place.

-this is just my thought so im not saying im right or wrong-

or just bad at handling this. They should give the reasons for what is going on so people could understand. In Dr. Smitters shoes, i would probably not want to come back knowing the people i would have to be working with. I say everything should just get DROPPED and close this school in the first place. Bad things are always happening as if this school has always been meant to be closed. I am an a&b honor roll student at santa maria hight school and i really do dislike it. Why am i still here?

Two words to describe this town: Faschist Democracy.

LMFAO ahhahahaha Couldn't have put it better my self

Looks like the only idiots still believing chelo's bull is her own relatives & the relatives of the other 4 board members who don't have a backbone (bunch of cowards) & wouldn't recognize the truth if it came and bit them in the butt! Of course they're telling all the angry people of SM that Dr. Smetter is under investigation because they don't know what else to say to try to get them off their filthy backs! And if she is under investigation it's probably for reasons like wearing the wrong color

she's promised. I like the fact that students are protesting against this because it is their rights. People should let them do this. For the board members: i don't know everyone one of you though i have been right next to them in person. Some give me a bad feeling sometimes though i dont know if im right. Things have been going bad in santa maria. Who takes care of this town? Board members. I say its the peoples fault for choosing these board members if they know they are either "crooked" or ju

Okay so i wasn't that informed about what was going on and like always the things in santa maria turn into rumors so you never know whats the "actual" thing going on. From what i have seen and been through, i think Mrs. Smitter is a great person. There shouldn't be any hating of any kind because if you compare her to other superintendents that have been here, she has done alot. Other superintendents have promised things that were never done, on the other hand Dr. Smitter has done what she's...

Monki please! This communtiy has always been the way it has been. Nothng much has change. Plus if u thnk the past members have made wise decisions please. Thy didn't knw how to make decisions. And yes I do agree the kids and the community has the right to speak up. So if u read or see the news monki u would see tht we r the one of the schools tht have a 6.7 droup outs in our communtiy. For the reason tht this concern parents don't knw hw to educate thr kids. So let the stdents run the school.

First of all the school board doesn't need to inform the students or communtiy abt lettng dr smetter go. Its lke whn thy found out abt the prn did rivera look straight at the camera and said we r firng or deling w him. No he didn't or the school board didn't speak up and of course these concern parents tht speak nw. Weren't conern abt tht. Nw u guys wnt a answer abt this. Man figure out first and then speak up. These students should get in trouble.

Wow in santa maria everyone knws everyones shit. For the "concern" parents. Wht u need to do is to educate ur children better. Cuz the school board has thr reasons y thy let dr smetter go. So if u r not correctly inform of these resaon. People dnt open ur month and put ur two cents in it. The students tht were involed in this protest r of course rivera related or friends of the rivera family. Wht needs to b done is the state needs to cme dwn and deal w all this miss. Cuz ths is to much already.

jag80 you need to use spell check ...sry!!! its mess not miss! and it's Monika not Monki, reason not resAon,
**Not all board members in all towns are as ignorant, and selfish in Santa Maria!! The town needs to vote ppl that are the most qualified, not the most popular!! Parent's can educate manners, n respect, it is in the schools where education comes in!!

and for the record there is no student by the name of Nerieda Villarreal enrolled in our school district, if youre gonna post your opinion on here and mention names get them right!!!

First of all eddie ur right . Cuz in the pass few years tho old members were uneducated w/out college hours and no knowledge of wht the hell they were doing. Plus these new members do knw how to run the school board and never let a pervert use company computer w/ company credit card to watch porn. Plus thy never allowd bus drivers to drive drunk etc... and the old members would use school money for personnal use. People bk off and let thm do thr job.

Ive lived in Santa Maria most of my life and have nvr heard ANYONE refer to Mr Saldivar as "coke man". I have however heard for yrs now how our schoolboard president sleeps in between her husband n her lover. Mr Saldivar is loved by our children. He's always at their functions interacting with them, listening to them, unlike other board members. Way to go Mr Saldivar! Keep up the good work..

Does anyone remember last year seniors when the loved Dr. Smetter didn't want to listen to the about where the graduation should be she might have an open door policy but it does not no if she doesn't listen and Oscar the only school board member thats there for the kids could speak out and say something oh wait I forgot his daughter wasn't graduating so it didn't matter to him and lastly if ur gonna write something on here don't be all scared write Ur name don't hide
-MARK GARCIA-

Ok you & those senior kids need to get over that incident already. So the kids didn't want to graduate outside, but the gym's AC was broken, what did they want her to do? & where did they get there graduation after all? the gym. So I don't know what they are complaining about, and most of all YOU. The point of this story is that the kids at school now, OBVIOUSLY want her there, and they wanted to hear an explanation.

i think she should stay home because she really dosnt care at all she was a good super intendent but to me she realy dosent care anymore

i think she should stay home because she really dosnt care at all she was a good super intendent but to me she realy dosent care anymore

mrs smitter is a bad influence to are kids she does not come up to you and say hey how are you doing ok in school. u should fire her for so many reasons.

outcome of the board's decision they should continue to strive for success. It is quite apparent that most of the remarks that are being posted are based on slander and not necessarily facts. It is degrading to our community to have individuals whom insult our students. People need to remember that it is the students of our school that are being affected by all these negative remarks. As far as Oscar well Thank you for standing up for what is right and taking our kids into consideration!!

Wow time and time again people continue to demonstrate their ignorance. It is quite repulsive to read the remarks made by individuals whom quite obviously have done nothing with their lives. It is quite obvious that Mr. Saldivar has demonstrated how he truly stands for the children especially by not running from the camera. As far as Dr. Smetter she pleaded to the kids to return to their classes and concentrate on their academic studies. She also gave them a brief message that no matter the

students not going to class! if smetter was a good leader like many say she is she would have talk to all those students so they would return to class becasue i believe she should be about the education and not let the class leader Nerieda Villarreal skip class to go to the protest and still that night go to the game. WHAT A GOOD LEADER SMETTER and good example Nerieda of what her leadership stands for at school DO WHAT EVER YOU WANT! is that why you don't want her gone?

lol you can't think logically can you!! All People have the right to stand up for what they believe! Nerieda is a smart,and active student at SMH, she is a role model to other students academically, additionally an active student who participates in extracurricular activities, maintaining good grades. If anything taking a step up to the plate that is leadership!! We all have the right to voice our opinion just like you do? Ultimately, thinking wisely is the key on keeping great ppl in leadership

Thats some great advice 956,let the kids decide if she stays or goes,maybe they can decide her pay too. I personally don't know Dr. Smetter,if she was good to kids or not,but what you need to realize,she was and is still getting paid to do so.She got suspended not terminated people.There is a process to doing things,in due time ,the truth will come out.As far as the board is concerned ,they can't comment on anything yet,but i'm sure when they can ,they will.I guess Oscar didn't get that memo.

Obviously your a board member yourself, by the way your speaking... lol there is a process for everything as we all know!!! As I stated earlier, the least that the Board President can do is to let the people know to wait patiently , "for the big so called news!" and meanwhile, other board-members in office should not be going around telling the people in the community about (cleaning house)and pointing out specific ppl that is illegal! TROUBLE!!!

Like the title says ,common sense,it's not rocket science. This is not the first board to come in and shake things up.People wanted change,ask and you shall receive. Due process. Have patience people and the truth should set you free.Thats the problem with change,we fear it,and expect the worst.Maybe its for the best.

for:XYZ you need to get your facts straighten out. you dont even know that stuff about the cops raided his house thats not even close it wasn't even him lol

Allow me to correct your statement so readers can understand what you're trying to say.
@xyz: You need to get your facts straight. You don't even know about the cops raiding his [Oscar's] house. That's not even close; it wasn't even him. Lol.

You're welcome! :)

you need to make a desision on whats best for the kids not for on the board members. Our kids should be number 1 and if Smetter was the best thing that happened to Santa Maria ISD the board members should've thought of that before letting her go. we will get her back.

I fell that kids of board members shouldn't say anything at all. We all know you'll back them up and the rest of the board members.She shouldv'e spoken up that night that the news wanted to speak to her not, run like if u have something to hide. "All you have to do is speak up"

And I FEEL that you should learn how to spell before you say anything at all.. If everyone is searching for answers as to why Santa Maria's Gift From God has been suspeneded with pay, why not ask Oscar or Noe to tell you why she's being INVESTIGATED!? They know just as much as the School Board President.. Oh wait, it's cuz they're just allegations right now, and if anyone says anything about something that has not yet been proved, it's considered slander.. Do you know what slander is??

Part 2-O.Saldivar- Just watch the Scarface movie and you will be able to figure it out. Ask him why the Law Enforcement Agencies raided his house. What a role model for the children of Santa Maria. Oscar…you are a disgrace to this community. If you know what is good for you, resign from the school board with honor. The community deserves no less.

True or not he still sticks up for us kids. And THATS WHAT MATTERS.

I was a student at SM, and everyone who lives in that town knows everything about everyone.. & I NEVER heard anyone say that about him. The students love him. Many of my class members in fact asked for him personally to award them there diplomas.It is OBVIOUS that what the COMMUNITY wants is more people like Saldivar, I don't see anyone out there agreeing with the other school board members..

PART I-Oscar Saldivar Jr.-he is a current board member of the losing team and he is now in the minority.He got elected in 2008 by making a deal with some board members and then negating on the deal. Another words, he is a total wimp! He is an advocate for what? Another perfect example of a knucklehead using the students to get his message across. Please... This is the same guy that is known in the community as the “Coke Man” and it has nothing to do with soft drinks.

Same ol.same ol.board members(minority)and ex board members(losers) poisoning the minds of the community. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves using the students to get your messages across. Is education really a priority? Give me a break! The bottom line is that you are a bunch of losers that can't get over it. Do you understand the difference between Suspension and Termination? Obviously not!!! Among the leaders of the pack are cocaine users, drunks, and smugglers. Not a surprise,,is it?

School board members act upon legal counsel recommendtions. Superintendents never get suspension without due process or cause.
I am sure that once the investgation and suspension runs its full course the evidence will justify the current actions.

If that were true in this case, they would have provided a reasonable explanation as to why they voted her out, rather than hide and avoid the public. I don't know why they think they could get away with it. I hope this finally sheds light on what a horrible school board they have, and gives credit to the two members who stood up against them.

Very well put.. It's too bad the rest of the community has been misled over this issue.. However, in due time, the truth will surface, and then they'll understand..

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