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FISD super responds to TV news story
Wilson County NewsJune 12, 2013 | 6,064 views | 27 comments
FLORESVILLE -- Officials from both the Floresville Independent School District (ISD) and its former bus-service vendor, Student Transportation Specialists (STS), have offered responses to a KSAT-12 TV news story featured on the network’s 10 p.m. broadcast June 3.
Brian Mylar reported that transportation employees sent KSAT photographs from a fiesta-themed party held in the district’s bus barn in Floresville April 19. The party was sponsored by the bus company and was attended by employees, including Transportation Supervisor Steven “Beaver” Wallace. One of the pictures depicts Floresville ISD Superintendent Jerry Lee Hunkapiller taking a swing at a piñata while holding a young child.
Hunkapiller, in a letter furnished to the Wilson County News, said candy poured from the piñata at first. But when others struck it, feminine products, condoms, and other items of a sexual nature fell out.
A letter signed by an STS employee identifying himself as Gilbert Arbizu and 25 of his coworkers indicates that the workers now realize that the contents of the piñata “were of bad taste.”
“I want to ensure (sic) you that neither Dr. Jerry Hunkapiller nor Mr. Beaver Wallace knew of or consented to the sexual items being placed in the piñata,” Arbizu wrote.
In Hunkapiller’s letter, the superintendent apologizes to the community and expresses embarrassment over what occurred.
“The event that occurred is inexcusable,” he wrote. “This story embarrassed not only me personally, but my precious wife Wendy, my boys Blade, Gage, Bryce, Grayson, Briggs, and most importantly it embarrassed all of you.”
Hunkapiller’s letter also addressed questions raised in the story over two buses that Wallace sold to the district. The superintendent said Wallace purchased two 1997 Thomas buses, repainted them and installed new engines, seat covers, and more, then sold them to the district for $9,000 each. Hunkapiller contends that Wallace did not profit from the transaction, as documentation from Longhorn Bus Sales indicates that the buses each have a value of $23,000 to $25,000.
Comparable new buses, according to Longhorn representative Butch Braziel’s letter, would cost approximately $145,000 each. This and the letter from the transportation staff can ve viewed with this story online.
STS for many years managed Floresville ISD’s student-transportation system, hiring and managing its own employees who utilize equipment and facilities owned by the district. As of June 7, the STS employees were retained by the district, following an April decision by the district’s board of trustees for the district to manage its own transportation.
For the full text of Hunkapiller’s letter, see page 7A.
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