Para Que Te Sirve

The Inside Scoop

Ray Quiroga



I had the benefit of living through diverse experiences in life and being raised, in part, by my Depression Era grandparents who had, what the “kids” nowadays would say, an antiquated way of doing things. My grandmother, for example, was a stickler for manners. She’d always made sure I’d introduced myself properly, greeted guests and her friends and Lord help me if I ever dreamed of raising my voice to her or my grandfather. I don’t think she understood or cared that being somewhat introverted, it wasn’t easy for me to go out of my way to present myself to strangers. Fourteen years after her death, I still find myself being not only self-conscious when it comes to manners, but downright haunted by her voice when I’m out in public, making sure I do things such as hold the door open for the people behind me. Being the first in my family to have the privilege of graduating with a bachelor’s degree, on the occasions when my etiquette would be lacking, she’d say, “Para que te sirve,” which roughly translates to mean, “What good is it?” as to say, “All that education, and what good is it if you don’t even have basic manners and morals?” Whether she knew it or not, it was a way to keep me grounded.
Several years ago, when I was reporting, I was covering a story involving a dispute between parents and a San Benito school district department head. The district honchos had gathered these parents and the department head in a large room in an effort to hash things out and I had somehow made my way into the meeting. Talks were moving along rather cordially with the parents making their points and the district official making hers. Then, as the meeting was winding down, the veteran educator said something that stunned the crowd into silence. “You wouldn’t question a doctor or lawyer, why would you question me? I went to school. I’m educated.”
Now, forget the fact that many people would — or at least should — question a doctor’s prognosis or lawyer’s strategy when someone’s future could be at stake, the comment didn’t go over well among those in attendance and talks went downhill from that point forward. The entire event, illustrated a certain phenomenon that sometimes occurs between those whom come from relatively humble stock, educate ourselves, only to forge a disconnect with the community wince they came. Take for example extraordinary troubling comments as alleged in the multiple lawsuits filed against the district by former employees (see our lead stories on those suits from the past two weeks). The contents of which, if shown to be true, are just plain horrible and wrong, by any measure, but most of all, they’re just sad. Allegations of sexism, ageism, and most troubling, a detailed account of racism from a current board member against a district employee are some of the most saddening allegations laid against the district in those filings. And to think, they’re coming from some of the most supposedly educated and professional people in our community, folks who are supposed to set the example, “for the rest of us,” and folks who, many times, tend not to pass up the opportunity to remind us just how professional they are. Take, as another example, the social media exchange between current board president Michael Vargas and myself, in which I questioned some $70k in district spending, making it a point to address myself as one of his constituents, a local business person, concerned parent and as a taxpayer. Vargas’ reply was to write, “I don’t need to be lectured on what is kosher spending for the district…I have been a teacher in an inner city school, an assistant principal and finally a district administrator… My point is not to list my resume, but rather to suggest that as board president, along with administration and my fellow board members, I fully understand the need of my staff.” He continued to attack me on a professional and personal level, all the while never addressing the specific questions that I had asked… It all just kind of makes you want to shake your head and say, “Para que te sirve”.

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    • So true on December 2, 2018 at 7:14 am
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    So true goes both ways, yet in education as educators, the students are to be first not vice versa. you should have never been treated like that (happened to me too) in which lead you to teach your child/ren that our educators aren’t to be trusted when they speak, not all that comes from there mouth is to be accepted, yet challenged. This school board and all educators have lost the dignity of focusing on pushing for the teaching of academics being a priority to all students. They conduct themselves as a family environment where a pad on the pack is enough. Discipline, honor, loyalty to our students is what these educators lack. They lack perseverance in our student’s academic scores. Board members, superintendent, all the heads giving free food at football games yet they have students who don’t have winter clothes, who don’t have light, who don’t have school supplies. ”It’s all a show” no actions of bettering our academics the ratings our are proof They just attended a conference in Bastrop Tx for educational programs in which all the board members, superintendent went- those seats should have been for teachers those individuals aren’t teaching and to even think of saying- I went to know for myself then what the heck do we need you for if you don’t already know?! I’d like to know exactly how much money did that conference trip cost? More like a fun getaway trip for the heads, when they need to give a face to the problems they are brushing under the carpet. Like steam Academy where is being told to students of 1st/ 2nd grade that its okay to be gay, they have a student that is a relative to an employee who allows the child to conduct in a feminist way so the counselors, teachers have spoken to those students saying its okay and twisting the story to parents that have asked in which they say no it was just a male mermaid costume. I get the no discrimination policy but no one has a right to tell a 1st/2nd grader of 5-8 yr range that its okay to be gay, you send your child to be taught academics, not the matters of life, that is up to the parents!

      • Concerned Citizen on December 2, 2018 at 10:54 am
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      Wow in other words, Steam Academy is “outing” a 1st/2nd grader? That’s why kids get bullied the BS that administrators spit out. All they are doing is bringing more attention to the issue. Who are they to say that kid is gay. All they should be doing is teaching the students not to be bullies using the SBCISD handout and getting the younger kids ready for the next grade level and the upper grades the STAAR. By the way how is all that hands on stuff (robotics, crafts, Minecraft, etc) going to teach those kids how to be ready for the STAAR.. where’s the Academics and rigorous lessons fit in all this. Let’s see if this school makes the cut next school year.. TEA and school board should better be on watch duty In all SB schools!!

        • Citizen on December 3, 2018 at 7:58 am
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        Outing? What about the other students who have been robbed of there innocence? I’d hate to be a parent at that school and I agree they should of shut there mouth and used the SBISD handbook and contacted all parents/guardians before taking apone themselves in saying it’s okay, its okay what? You know how confused the little ones (students) might be now? This is beyond unacceptable. I would not even think twice id remove my child from that environment. Unacceptable in all levels. This District is definitely a dirty one. I here about this district and there educators how they don’t do for the students how former employees are suing the district for retaliation, discrimination and so forth and these former employees have an attorney who are TCTA just a phone call yet where is an attorney of just a phone call for all these students? Where is that group like the TCTA for the students in which would provide attorneys to all students in which they would make this district and all Districts accountable for students education, rights and so forth? It’s disappointing to know that this is happening

    • Respect goes both ways on November 30, 2018 at 11:08 am
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    Ray I understand what you are saying. I was raised to not talk back to my elders. I was taught to be quiet and listen, follow rules. All it gave back was people stepping all over me by verbal abuse and being treated like a less of a person by employers. But all that ended the moment I realized these people ruined everything. I’ve worked hard for years to get where I was a few months ago. In a matter of few months I’ve struggled. I practically have to start again from scratch… Cause certain people decided they are better and above people like me…who were raised to respect and keep their mouth shut. For those people who think you are better because you are an administrator.. You too will find yourself struggling and jobless… What goes around comes around .. Karma. Now, I’ve been teaching my kids to speak up and don’t let people in power treat them like a nobody just to respect to those that respect them.

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