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Proposal for San Antonio school name change for Emilio Navaira draws debate

By TejanoNation Staff @TejanoNation

By TejanoNation Staff
@TejanoNation

vestal-emilioSAN ANTONIO – The Harlandale Independent School District debated over the proposed school name change for late Tejano music legend Emilio Navaira on Wednesday night in San Antonio.  School board trustees argued with each other and community members took opposing viewpoints for the renaming of Vestal Elementary at the scheduled school board meeting, according to MySanAntonio.com.

Navaira, who died on May 16 of an apparent heart attack at age 53, was one of the few Tejano stars with helping popularize Tejano music to the mainstream.

The two-time Grammy Award winner was also charged three times with driving while intoxicated, including the Easter Sunday tour bus accident in 2008 when the singer was behind the wheel.  Several band members were injured and Navaira suffered a severe brain injury after he was thrown through the front window. Navaira spent years in recovery after the accident.

This week, Mothers Against Drunk Driving released a statement opposing the school’s name change in honor of Navaira.

“While Mr. Navaira undoubtedly accomplished many great things in his music career, we have concerns that renaming a school in his honor in light of his history of multiple drunk driving offenses sends the wrong message to students.”

Raulito Navaira, Emilio’s brother, spoke at the board meeting on behalf of the Navaira family.

“My brother is a role model but he also is human,” he told trustees. “We all make mistakes.”

Raulito also added Emilio served the community in many ways including donations to many charities and support for local kids with his Tejanos For Children, benefiting the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio.

“It’s not just my brother, my mom teached at that school for over 40 years and it would be like my brother’s last gift to her,” Raulito told KENS5.com.

Mary Navaira worked as a bilingual aide at Vestal for more than 25 years and continued as a full-time substitute until the day her son died.

No vote was taken on Vestal’s renaming, which board Vice President Tomas Uresti proposed. The board president says if community members request the name change, there is a lengthy process. They must gather about 300 signatures in support. Residents who sign the petition must be at least 18 years old and live within the school’s boundaries. There would be additional meetings to review and discuss the petition before the board will make a vote.

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8 Comments on Proposal for San Antonio school name change for Emilio Navaira draws debate

  1. Elaine Ortiz // June 2, 2016 at 3:37 pm // Reply

    I think renaming the school after Emilio would be a great way not only to remember Emilio but to see other students follow in his footsteps.

    Like

    • Estella Garcia // June 2, 2016 at 8:31 pm // Reply

      I feel that this would be an inspiration for the Tejano for our kids. San Antonio has a great potential.

      Like

    • Madd needs to get a grip! Emilio has done way more good for His Community than Harm! Nobody’s perfect…and he did his time and then some in contribution. let’s delve into the names of the other schools and pull out skeletons, affairs, drugs adultery, etc. There would be no schools named after a person then…it would be School One and School Two! Let he who has NO SIN, cast the first Stone! I have respect for Madd, but it’s our school and neighborhood and we all knew the Navairas and their Faith and love for community. Mrs Navaira was a big part of that school as well! Mr Emilio Navaira Jr (Emilio’s Father) was a respectable Man as well. He was rooted here too in the Harlandale district and was good friends with Jesse Borrego Sr and my Villanueva cousins, Rudy, Johnny, and Benny. All those families offspring have soared in the Arts. Johnny Villanueva’s sons are with the international touring band, Grupo Vida/the Electric Cowboys, and we all know Jesse Borrego Jr. Became an Actor! And Emilio reinvented Conjunto Music into Tejano and was nominated for several Grammies! And personally he would have had that Grammy if Linda Ronstadt hadn’t released Canciones De mi Padre that year! I would be honored to be upstaged by a Legendary Artist as Linda Ronstadt! Lol its a Win Win! I say name the school Navaira Elementary in honor of all the Navairas contributions to the Community. And maybe Madd will drop it and settle down, the family as a unit has impacted our community in a good way and made our neighborhood better for it!

      Like

  2. Javier Acosta // June 2, 2016 at 4:00 pm // Reply

    How many presidents & other prominent citizens made mistakes in their lives but still were given the honor of similar naming rights to public schools, highways, buildings, etc? The naming has to do with honoring the work Emilio & his entire family have done over the years in San Antonio & the incredible job that Emilio did of promoting things like San Antonio, community work, education, & not to mention Tejano music. Citizens of SA speak up now for your beloved son & honor Emilio & his family with this tribute.

    Like

    • Leticia Rodriguez // June 8, 2016 at 1:35 pm // Reply

      I couldn’t have said it better….. Thank you Emilio Navaira for all you did. May God bless you and family. You deseve this and more…..❤

      Like

  3. Jeffrey Zepeda // June 6, 2016 at 6:46 pm // Reply

    I believe the name of the school should be change EMILIO NAVAIRA has done alot in the community and alot of people need to stop being so quick to judge EMILIO at least EMILIO does not gain off people’s tragedys like madd does so also take a look at everyone who is jugdeing negatively against MR NAVAIRA and were sure they have mud on thier shoes down with mother against drunk drivers and everyone else’s filth against a good Citizen and not to mention a very active individual of the community and other parts of the USA and world which not even half of these negative people and madd have never done so EMILIO NAVAIRA ELEMENTRY JEFFREY ZEPEDA. ADD MY NAME TO THE PETTION THUMBS UP

    Like

  4. what this is racial profiling! it’s a white man still trying to overtake and profile and segregate race this is not acceptable in any form of man! just because Emilio Navaira is Latino Americano his name cannot be accepted but another white man’s name can! when is the racism racial profiling going to stop! what have the board that school district done for the community! besides take taxpayers dollars and spend it how they want to!

    Like

  5. Emilio NAVAIRA ELEMENTRY. All for it EMILIO NAVAIRA has done alot for the community and as for mothers against drunk drivers stop with the whining already at least Emilio does not gain off others tragedys and also everyone with negative comments about MR NAVAIRA should look at themselves am sure there is mud on thier shoes so let’s not be quick to slander the name of a very respectable person and also a very active giving person Instead of being fowl toward MR NAVAIRA add my name for the school change put me on the PETTION to sign EMILIO NAVAIRA ELEMENTRY

    Like

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