Seminole ISD Superintendent Keeps Job After DWI Arrest, Parents Speak Out

Seminole ISD Superintendent Keeps Job After DWI Arrest, Parents Speak Out

SEMINOLE, TX (KWES) - He told police he "only had one beer" and then "almost fell to the ground" during a series of field sobriety tests.

These are words taken straight from the arrest affidavit for Gary Laramore, superintendent of the Seminole Independent School District.

He was pulled over and arrested Wednesday night by Seagraves Police on suspicion of driving drunk in a school vehicle, officials said.

Laramore could not be reached for comment.

"He's supposed to be a role model to all these kids," said Meagan Williams, a Seminole resident whose son and daughter attend SISD schools. "What he did shows he has little respect for the district and the students."

The SISD Board of Trustees voted Sunday night during a special meeting to continue employing Laramore as superintendent.

Ben Royston, the Board of Trustees president, said Laramore is currently taking a personal leave of absence.

Upon his return, he will be required to enter a 12-step or other comparable alcohol counseling program and submit to regular random drug and alcohol testing, administrators said. In addition, Laramore will no longer be permitted to use any school-owned vehicle.

"I would have liked them to include the parents [in this decision]," Williams told NewsWest 9. "We weren't invited to the board meeting. After the meeting, they said we could have [written] letters. But they did not tell us this before the meeting."

It's unclear if administrators directly notified school parents about the specially called meeting and invited them to write letters outlining their concerns.

Royston declined to speak with NewsWest 9 in an on-camera interview, explaining attorneys had advised against issuing anything beyond a written statement.

"I would like to express my intention and hope that the board will reassess this situation as the investigation into the allegations against Mr. Laramore proceeds, and again at the time the charges are adjudicated," he said in an emailed press release. "The board may want to reevaluate its options as we learn more information and if things change."

Seminole parents created a Facebook group Sunday night following the board meeting to call for "more accountability," Williams said.

The private group, called "Parents Against Seminole ISD Board's Actions," had 125 members by Monday afternoon.

"We just want him to face the same consequences anyone else would," said Williams. "Especially with Red Ribbon Week [a program aimed at drug and alcohol abuse prevention and education] coming up, what kind of message does this send to our kids about drinking and driving? What are they going to think if they see their own superintendent getting away with [nothing more than] a slap on the wrist?"

She added that students "are the ones being unfairly punished" in the aftermath of the DWI arrest.

"[Teachers and administrators] have told the high school kids that if they get caught talking about [Laramore] or his arrest, they will be written up," Williams told NewsWest 9.

At least four other parents repeated this claim, off camera or in Facebook messages.

SISD administrators have not confirmed if students are prohibited from discussing the superintendent's arrest.

"I've told my daughter about it [and used the situation] as a learning opportunity [to discuss the dangers and consequences of drunk driving]," said Williams.