Photos courtesy Mike Tipton

Op-Ed: An Open Letter to SISD -“Why Are They Mad at My School?”

Dear Socorro District,

As a proud graduate of Socorro High School and Native of Socorro, I have always had a soft spot in my heart for you. I’ve always rooted for the district when my beloved Bulldogs are not playing against them in football or baseball.

I have always bragged about being a graduate of the Socorro District, “The BEST District in not just El Paso, but the State!” From playing “Musical Principals” and sending over a less than worthy man to my high school in 2001, to corruption cases, I stayed true. Eventually that all weighs on a persons mind and they have to make a decision.

When I moved back to El Paso and looked for a school for my child, I looked at the Socorro District, hopeful that perhaps my child’s love for education would be nurtured in a way mine wasn’t. I understand times change, and I forgave the school for their transgressions against myself and my spouse, or our friends who were told by their teachers and councilors, the best they could do is community college or joining the work force out of high school. I set aside all that, hopeful the school had changed.

In my research I asked my friends, parents of students in the Socorro District, their thoughts on the schools (even those south of I-10) and got a mixed bag of reviews, very few were even partially flattering. One friend of mine even going as far as saying they pulled their kids out of a SISD school…they were a former teacher in the district.

This was alarming to me, then I was reminded of a Pre-K I had enrolled my son in, and their founder. She was a former teacher in SISD, one tired of teaching for a test. She taught my son a love of reading I have yet to see many kids in the district have.

My spouse told me about a new school being built, close to my alma mater, Socorro High School. The School was named “Idea”.

“What’s the Big Idea?” I jokingly asked.

She went on to tell me of the school’s benefits, their downsides, the whole school was torn down and built back up in our research, much like the district. However, WE decided that ultimately the new Idea Public School would give our son the best chance to further his education, especially living in the often forgotten and neglected city of Socorro.

Tuesday Morning’s actions by you and your representation did nothing but solidify our decision.

Photos courtesy Mike Tipton

As we drove by to drop our child off at school, a moment we’ve all come to enjoy, we had to answer the questions:

“Who are those people?” “Why are they screaming?” “Why are they mad at my school?” “Will they be there when I go to recess?”

All of these are questions that should never be asked by a child at 7am.

Photos courtesy Mike Tipton

We turned into the school parking lot to signs that said “Come Home!” “Come Back!” a group of cheerleaders standing around the entrance to the school (being exploited by the school they cheer for, simultaneously) highlighting the lack of sports and cheerleading at the Idea School.

Photos courtesy Mike Tipton

“Come Back!” “Come Home!”
“Come Back!” “Come Home!”

Socorro ISD, I must ask you. Why are you so mad? Why now is it a big deal? You were more than complacent in the past before the Idea School was built. Our children’s education seemed to not be as important in the past, now that there’s a school highlighting education and giving kids a better shot at furthering their educational targets, you’re upset?

SHAME ON YOU! Shame on you for being as complacent as you have been over the last few decades. Shame on you for hiring teachers who shouldn’t be hired, who care about nothing more than a steady check and summers and weekends off.

Shame on you for allowing a principal to tell a student who was transferring to the new school “They’re just trying to brainwash you to go to college…” As if more education is a bad thing.

Shame on you for sending truancy officers to the homes of previously enrolled student and harassing their parents because you didn’t do enough to convince the parents of the students that your district was the one for their child.

Socorro ISD, come to my spouse and I, tell us what you’ve done in the City of Socorro to be better.

If you want us back, if you truly want us to come back home, stop pushing us away with your cowardly actions, bad mouthing a school and acting less mature than the students who are going to that school.

You now have competition, SISD. It’s time to evolve and increase your 48% rating in 2017 by the Texas Education Agency. Prove to us you want our children back, prove to yourselves you’re worthy of having our children enroll in your schools.

Put away the signs and theatrics and get to work, you have a job to do, and you’re not doing it by yelling at children and their parents.


A Hopeful Bulldog – Mike Tipton


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