By J. NOEL ESPINOZA
Special to the NEWS
For several months San Benito Consolidated Independent School District administrators had refused to talk to the News directly about hard news concerning the running of the school district.
Late last year, SBCISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nate Carman claimed the News had often misattributed or misquoted him. Carman usually insisted the News submit questions in writing, and he ceased to respond to telephone calls.
“Many times I’ve been misquoted,” Carman said when the News tried to talk to him last year about former Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services Kevin Phillips. “We’ll respond to you in writing.”
The News thus began to communicate via email. The News usually will get questions answered several days later, often close to the deadline to print the newspaper.
After Celia Longoria was forced out and resigned as SBCISD Public Relations Director last November, the new Interim Public Relations Director Isabel Gonzalez also hardly answered calls and requested the News to submit questions in writing via email. The News has done just that, sending emails to both Carman and Gonzalez at the same time.
In more delicate matters such as question concerning expenditures of the district, usually Gonzalez responds by saying the News needs to file a Freedom of Information Act request.
Although Gonzalez responded to emails often several days later, the News did not receive any responses for nearly two weeks, more or less since April 15 when Gonzalez responded to questions regarding a San Benito High School student who took his own life at his hometown of Los Indios.
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