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Bowie and Jefferson high students and alumni react to merger idea

By: Bill Melugin
EL PASO, Texas -- An email from an El Paso Independent School District official inadvertently sent to KFOX14 on Wednesday suggests the district has potential plans to merge Bowie and Jefferson high schools into one south side high school.

KFOX14 stopped by both campuses to get reaction from students.

"Are you kidding me? They can't do that! It's Bowie and Jeff, we have a rivalry, you can't put two schools that hate each other so much together because it just doesn't make sense," said Bowie senior Isabel Montoya. "I've been here four years, Bowie is a family tradition for me and you just can't go merging it with Jeff, we have our big rivalry, we fight for the helmet, so it just makes no sense to put both schools that hate each other so much and all this tradition that goes way back together."

"If they want to do it, they could do it," said Bowie student Gerardo Rodriguez. "I'll be OK with it, but I'm not sure the other students would be OK with it. Mostly my mom's part of the family went to Jeff, even my mom was an alumni from Jeff, so I really don't mind."

KFOX14 also spoke with Marcelo Campos, the president of the Bowie Alumni Association.

Campos said he had heard about the possible idea, but that it was still in the preliminary discussion phase to determine if it's even feasible.

"I think they mentioned the idea about changing the name, if they do merge. As far as the Bowie community is concerned, hundreds, thousands of us, no," Campos said. "No, we will not support in any way or manner the change of our school from being anything but Bowie High School."

Jefferson High School students weren't thrilled about the idea of a merge with their rivals either.

"Bowie is our rival so I don't think we should merge with them," said Vanessa Delira. "I have friends at Bowie, but it's still the same, I go to Jeff and they go to Bowie, so we're still rivals even though we're friends, it's all about the pride and all that."

"I think it's not a good idea, to put both schools together cause we're rivals, you don't know if they're going to get in a fight or something," said Abril Gutierrez.

KFOX14 also spoke with Al Patino, a representative with the Jefferson Alumni Association. He told KFOX14 he heard about the proposal last week, and that it may end up being a decent idea because of the low enrollment numbers for both schools.

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