McAllen board denies former Memorial baseball coach’s grievance

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Felipe Barrera

McAllen faculty district trustees declined to apologize to former coach Felipe Barrera for the best way the district dealt with complaints towards him throughout a grievance listening to final week.

Barrera, who resigned as coach in March after being instructed he could be suspended, was arrested earlier this month and charged with stalking after allegedly threatening Athletic Director Brian McClenney.

A press release from Barrera’s lawyer says the warrant for that arrest was “sought and secured by the District based mostly on false pretenses” and that prices adopted the lawyer telling the district Barrera supposed to maneuver ahead with office retaliation claims.

In reference to his grievance, Barrera says he deserves an apology, characterizing himself as a whistleblower being retaliated towards by the district’s administration.

Administrative paperwork in Barrera’s stage three grievance packet, nevertheless, describe a prolonged chain of coverage violations Barrera allegedly dedicated that stretched again to August of 2021.

Along with allegations of utilizing vulgar language — which precipitated administration’s resolution to droop Barrera — the paperwork describe quite a few complaints from mother and father, a self-reported UIL coverage violation and several other cases during which Barrera doubtlessly used district amenities inappropriately for a personal teaching enterprise.

For his half, Barrera mentioned complainants towards him had been biased, proof had been fabricated, due course of was not adhered to and, in essence, that your complete factor was a “witch hunt” towards him promoted by immoral directors.

The grievance listening to was predictably tense.

Barrera repeatedly accused directors — together with Superintendent J.A. Gonzalez — of being immoral and unethical.

Authorized counsel for the district repeatedly warned him to stay to his grievance and keep away from criticizing particular people.

In the end, trustees moved the final two minutes of Barrera’s 10-minute listening to into government session.

“That is their course of, this isn’t a court docket of legislation,” Alfonso Kennard, Barrera’s lawyer mentioned. “They are going to be fined for that; everyone knows it is a sham course of to start with.”

Trustees had been clearly offended by that grievance.

“I don’t respect being known as a sham session by an lawyer, and we’re right here to listen to your stage 1-level 2 [grievance]. And also you’re bringing stuff — rumors — that’s nowhere in right here,” Trustee Conrado “Ito” Alvarado mentioned.

Earlier than the board adjourned behind closed doorways, Barrera addressed among the allegations towards him, together with these studies of vulgarity.

“I nonetheless don’t know the phrases they mentioned I mentioned, trigger I don’t say unhealthy phrases,” he mentioned. “That’s one factor I hate. I hate coaches that use unhealthy phrases; and I do know all of you, in the event you look again, in the event you fired each coach that mentioned a foul phrase, you wouldn’t have coaches on this district.”

The grievance packet mentioned administration interviewed 10 randomly chosen college students who described Barrera utilizing a wholesome number of foul phrases, demeaning expressions and “homosexual innuendos.”

The packet describes Barrera’s alleged habits at a March 15 varsity sport.

“You two are nugatory s***s!” the packet says the previous coach instructed gamers. “Get your asses out of there, I want I had another person to play!”

The following day, March 16, an umpire and a coach each reported that Barrera used foul language at a junior varsity baseball sport.

That very same day, Athletic Coordinator Moses Patterson instructed Barrera in regards to the considerations and instructed him he could be suspended pending an investigation into them.

“There is no such thing as a want for that,” the packet describes Barrera saying. “I’m going to resign as of in the present day. I don’t want this s***, and I’m bored with coping with this.”

Barrera then grabbed a notepad off Patterson’s desk and wrote an exceptionally transient resignation letter.

Within the listening to, Barrera defended his character and mentioned the best way the district dealt with allegations is an affront towards his teaching legacy.

“You understand, the younger children that don’t have the revenue, the cash: Coach Barrera helps them discover a technique to get into school,” he mentioned about himself.

FURTHER ALLEGATIONS

The packet additionally describes a protracted collection of allegations over the previous faculty 12 months other than Barrera’s alleged fondness for colourful language.

One occasion from September indicated Barrera returned a participant recovering from COVID-19 to coaching with out following protocol. Barrera was suggested of correct protocol once more after that participant complained of shortness of breath and chest pains.

The packet describes wrangling that month over changing an assistant coach on his crew that Barrera wished to take away as a result of he doubted his trustworthiness as a result of that assistant additionally coached basketball. It says Barrera described the assistant as a “most cancers” on the crew.

Earlier in September, the packet says a dad or mum complained about Barrera making gamers costume of their dugout fairly than in a locker room, the place they might have privateness.

Barrera instructed administration he didn’t have an space for gamers to decorate or that the realm was too crowded with soccer gamers, though the locker room was secluded from soccer and PE, the doc says.

“Coach Barrera then acknowledged that the baseball locker space was too removed from the sphere, and it will take to (sic) lengthy to alter after which recover from to apply,” it reads.

Barrera then complained about not having sufficient help from administration and threatened to resign, the packet says.

Many of the allegations, nevertheless, pertain to violations involving using amenities, typically in regard to Barrera’s non-public teaching ventures.

On August 25, 2021, campus police seen coaches and former athletes coming into the Memorial Excessive College baseball space, the packet says. They mentioned they had been there to work out, however when Barrera was contacted in regards to the incident, he mentioned they had been there to promote and demo tools.

In accordance with the athletic workplace, a number of mother and father had made studies about Barrera’s non-public teaching actions.

“They vary from compelled non-public classes, CashApp funds, South Texas Sliders baseball group, facility utilization irregularities, low season practices and extra,” the packet says.

Paperwork describe a number of cases the place people who didn’t seem like enrolled at Memorial had been coaching utilizing the varsity’s amenities with out district authorization or practising with Memorial athletes.

At varied factors, the doc mentioned, Barrera answered questions on facility utilization by saying these people had been there to promote and demo tools, that they had been simply serving to the crew apply fairly than participating themselves or that they had been the sons of shut private buddies.

Barrera instructed administration final August that previously a person had allowed him to make use of amenities “if it was stored quiet.” That particular person’s title is redacted within the copy of the packet obtained by The Monitor.

Barrera additionally instructed administration that he had not threatened children who didn’t enroll in exterior classes with being kicked off the varsity crew.

“I don’t respect anybody questioning my character or professionalism,” he wrote. “I’m prepared to show in my resignation if anybody needs it. I don’t want all this, and I can discover a job wherever. Folks like me and I’ll discover a spot elsewhere.”

In March of 2022, amenities utilization once more turned an issue.

On March 11 the district self-reported a violation of the UIL Structure & Contest Guidelines, writing that two days earlier Barrera had allowed an eighth grade pupil from Cathey to play 1st base and apply with Memorial’s varsity crew.

“His father was additionally in attendance, catching balls from gamers at residence plate,” the doc reads, including that the violation would end in a written reprimand for Barrera.

An administrator had seen the boy on the sphere, noting that he wore an orange South Texas Sliders cap.

Barrera claimed the scholar was performing as a ball boy.

BARRERA’S RESPONSE

Barrera and his lawyer have characterised complaints towards him and the best way McAllen ISD dealt with them as virtually tragic. Of their view, a famend coach is being dragged by the mud by retaliatory directors.

The previous coach is, a press release from Barrera’s lawyer says, distinctive and a boon to his athletes.

“Coach Barrera got here to McAllen Memorial to construct a Texas State Champion-caliber crew,” the assertion reads. “ In a short while, he has laid significant groundwork towards assembly that objective. With over 30 years of teaching expertise, Coach has at all times been each a hard-nosed self-discipline minded coach whereas nonetheless a “gamers coach.” He is aware of what it takes to get to the subsequent stage and teaches these rules day by day. In his free time, he coaches choose baseball groups comprised of low revenue youth competing towards powerhouse groups from throughout Texas.”

The assertion mentioned Barrera seen political conditions, poor administration and “egregious habits” on the district.

Criticism of the district is Barrera’s first modification proper, the assertion says. It additionally says

“As a result of he places his pupil athletes first at all times, he raised the alarm and has been ignored and now focused by the District,” it reads.

The assertion additionally says Kennard is representing Barrera in “employment legislation claims towards the district for retaliation.”

“Always, that is a few highly effective district retaliating towards somebody that’s standing up for the youngsters. We’re assured that the court docket system will agree,” Kennard wrote. “We allow them to know months in the past that we intend to maneuver ahead with claims towards the district for office retaliation, and the subsequent factor we all know they’re attempting to get him arrested.”

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