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Students say BISD teacher protests united community
BEAUMONT-By: Leslie Rangel
A vigorous protest to save teacher jobs has largely been spearheaded by BISD students.
Students say are proud of helping to unite a community despite a vote in favor of massive job cuts.
Once again it looked and sounded like a party as it did the last time this group got together.
But it's not a celebration it's round two of a community gathering to help stop teacher cuts.
"We're sick and tired of this stuff that's been going around here at admin for the past several years," Austin Bienvenu, a West Brook student says.
"It united so many people and it's crazy," Hope Flores, an Ozen student says.
A united front that Monday night faced off against the BISD board.
"Dear Dr. Chargois you were worried that something bad could happen at the BISD board meetings, with all due respect sir, something bad is happening," Keith Favre, a West Brook student said.
"We love you, but you got to go," Ricky Jason, a community member said to the board.
"The cuts you make will have untold impact on this city," Gina Martin, an Ozen Hgih School theater teacher said.
"Since we don't have any money left and we are buying our supplies for our schools, I bought some pens and paper for you to use to resign tonight," Elaine Henderson, another community member said to the board.
The cheers were loud at some points, but some see past the division between the district and community.
"What you have done as a board is you have united this community. You look out here and you see parents and children white and black, brown and yellow, all of them wanting the best thing for their future and for their children's future," Mike Getz, a city council member said.
Student leaders who've been behind the protest movement agree.
"Now that I get to see the whole community coming together and supporting this it's just makes my day really," Bienvenu said.
But not all feel the same way.
"There are some of you that are of the false assumption that you represent all of Beaumont, Texas and I'm sick of hearing that," Zenobia Bush, a BISD trustee said.
But not one person during the public comment portion of Monday night's meeting defended the board.
This student got the biggest round of applause and a standing ovation.
"If BISD is really all about the kids, it's time to start acting like it, sincerely, Keith Favre," Favre said.