At a packed school board meeting last night, the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District (GCISD) passed new policies banning critical race theory (CRT), prohibiting the promotion of LGBT ideologies, and adding to the library book review process.
The move comes after citizens elected pro-parent candidates to the school board in May, following years of leftist control in the district.
The fight over GCISD developed after virtual schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic allowed parents more access to materials assigned to their children. Parents soon discovered the district spent thousands of taxpayer dollars on teacher training and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curricula promoting CRT.
Previously, in 2013, GCISD created a Diversity Advisory Council to “promote diversity and inclusion by suggesting strategies, activities and educational resources” and “empower students to achieve their full potential in a global society.”
In the following years, parents launched several campaigns against Democrat-funded school board incumbents and pushed back against curriculum programs like Character Strong, which, in addition to producing SEL content for children, promotes its goal to help teachers “develop an equity lens.”
The parent movement first saw progress in 2021 when pro-parent candidate Shannon Braun won a seat on the school board. Earlier this year, citizens elected conservative-backed candidates Kathy Florence-Spradley and Tammy Nakamura.
Last night’s school board meeting saw heightened public interest, with almost 200 citizens signing up to speak on the proposed changes and some parents tailgating in the parking lot. A few minutes before midnight, the board’s trustees approved the new policies in a 4-3 vote.
One policy bans any curriculum or training programs based on CRT, and another includes new guidelines for approving library books. The district’s schools will keep prohibited books in a “parental consent area,” giving parents more of say in which materials their children can access. Another new policy requires schools to catalog all library materials, including the books in teachers’ classroom libraries.
Additionally, materials sold at book fairs will undergo the same vetting process as district-acquired books and content. This policy comes after GCISD cut ties with Scholastic Book Fairs when two students purchased inappropriate books from the event. The district recently announced they selected a new vendor to replace Scholastic and host book fairs across GCISD.
The school board also prohibited teachers from discussing sexual orientation with students before sixth grade or promoting “gender fluidity,” which tells individuals they can become any biological sex they choose.
In a social media post made after the meeting, Braun celebrated the new policies for taking politics out of GCISD’s classrooms and preventing the indoctrination of students.
“I am proud to say that with this package of reforms we have neutralized the classroom at GCISD–teachers have been unleashed to focus on core instruction and invest in the lives and education of their students,” said Braun. “The days of adults pushing their worldview and propagandizing our children, at taxpayer expense, are over.”