ROUND ROCK — As a nationwide conflict continues between rogue school administrators and concerned parents, so does a troubling series of events in a northern suburb of Austin.
On Thursday, the Round Rock Independent School District board of trustees plans to approve a controversial “anti-hate” resolution, “condemning actions that divide our community and incite hatred” and “[reaffirming their] commitment to the well-being and safety” of students—but only certain students.
“[I]n Round Rock ISD we are committed to creating an environment where all children can succeed, all feel welcome, and all are valued,” the resolution ironically begins.
“The Round Rock ISD Board of Trustees rejects and condemns all such groups and individuals whose ideologies are based on hate, violence, divisiveness, and intolerance,” it continues. “The Round Rock ISD Board of Trustees wishes to reaffirm its commitment to the well-being and safety of Black, Indigenous, LatinX, Jewish, Muslim, Arab, Asian American, Pacific Islander and LBGTQI communities and stands against hate speech and acts that target them.”
Citizens reacted to the resolution.
“Dear Trustees, I read your draft resolution. It had its desired effect. Being divisive under the guise of standing against divisiveness. Clever,” wrote district parent Ashley Forbes in an email to the seven school board members. “We all saw that you decided to select certain affinity groups for inclusion in your draft resolution while excluding everyone else.”
“Children of predominantly European descent, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, atheists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and children with disabilities are all excluded from your draft commitment to ensure well-being and safety,” Forbes continued. “I’m certain there are many more affinity groups I didn’t think of in the past 10 minutes.”
“A resolution that claims to be inclusive, yet excludes certain races and religions only serves to perpetuate the hate and division the resolution claims to be against,” Dustin Clark of the Round Rock Parent Coalition told Texas Scorecard. “Parents of Round Rock ISD will not stand for any resolution that does not support inclusion of all races and religions.”
“Here’s an idea: How about drafting a resolution to ensure the education of all children in Round Rock ISD?” added Forbes. “If it makes you feel better about yourselves, you can sign an oath to comply with the Civil Rights Act.”
The resolution also includes vague and subjective wording that the school board—already engulfed in claims of abuse of power and covering up domestic assault allegations against the superintendent—could weaponize against concerned citizens.
“Any groups and individuals who promote hate, violence, discord and intolerance are rejected and condemned and will not interfere with the Board of Trustees’ efforts to address, engage and lead the District on issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion,” the resolution states.
Recently, the board arrested two fathers who spoke out against some of their actions—all chronicled in a Texas Scorecard special report—and citizens said this latest resolution feels like the board is not only excluding students, but trying to silence opposition.
“It’s all too similar to recent efforts by the U.S. Department of Justice to label parents ‘domestic terrorists,” said district parent Michelle Evans, a Moms for Liberty leader who is also running for state representative. “This resolution does what it purports to denounce—it further divides and creates hostility in our community.”
The board is set to meet Thursday evening.