A Texas family is suing Coppell Independent School District (CISD) for allegedly discriminating against their son’s gender and race, as well as teaching critical race theory (CRT).
According to the father of the former CISD student, his son—whom Texas Scorecard will refer to as “JEC”—a 10th-grade student at New Tech High School in CISD, was given a CRT-based assignment by his chemistry teacher, Haley Arroyo.
The assignment was to “research and write about diverse atomic theory scientists,” and it was given to students with “do not make a copy” in the file name.
When she gave the assignment, Arroyo verbally clarified for the class what she meant by “diverse,” stating that students could pick any scientist other than an “old, dead, white guy.”
JEC, who had been actively engaged in academics, lost interest in his studies and his grades began to decline. His father told Texas Scorecard that when he asked his son why he was no longer interested in school, his son showed him the discriminatory assignment.
The Campbell family immediately filed a complaint with the school, requesting the assignment be retracted and the teacher apologize to her students for her “divisive and hurtful guidance.”
Campbell said his family did not receive an apology from the district nor from the school for the racially charged assignment. As a result, they attempted to transfer their son to a different high school in the district; however, due to disciplinary action taken by CISD, JEC was never able to attend the new school.
The lawsuit filed by the Campbells alleges that their complaint of the CRT assignment led to CISD administrators retaliating against the student and his family for reporting discrimination.
The retaliation allegedly included an administrator abusing the district’s anti-bullying tip line (StopIt Solutions) to manufacture an “anonymous” allegation against JEC and subsequently using it to move him to a Disciplinary Alternative Education Placement (DAEP).
The tip claimed JEC made a “threat” to kill Arroyo—the same teacher he had reported for discrimination two weeks prior. CISD Director of Communications Angela Brown alerted former CISD Safety and Security Coordinator Raechel Freeman that she had received the tip and was “on it.”
StopIt Solutions escalated the tip to the Coppell police after they were unable to contact Brown or Freeman.
Campbell told Texas Scorecard that the Coppell Police Department visited him in his home the same day.
In conversations with the detectives, after asking if his teacher was “ok,” JEC did own up to his poor word choice in a private Discord server run and managed by children and unaffiliated with CISD. JEC explained that his statement was deliberately taken out of context by the tipster.
The detectives concluded that the statement did not rise to the legal definition of a “threat” and advised JEC that “social media can get you in trouble.” Within hours of their visit, the police filed an information report (non-criminal) concluding that the allegations against JEC lacked merit.
Despite the police finding the allegations against him to be unfounded and the family moving out of the district entirely, CISD aggressively pursued disciplinary action against JEC at the hands of former New Tech Assistant Principal Raheela Shaikh.
Campbell said he had hoped to send his child to a normal school after moving from Coppell, but the district’s DAEP sentence bars his son from being able to go to any public school in the State of Texas. Rather than attending a DAEP, JEC has completed his GED.
Finding the behavior of the Shaikh and Arroyo with the police to be “sketchy,” the family took action and filed a grievance with CISD. During the grievance process, the Campbells obtained the information report by Coppell Police Department via FOIA request.
They alleged retaliation and reported the assignment as illegal under House Bill 3979, which banned CRT in the State of Texas and makes it illegal for educators to “award course grading for service learning in association with lobbying for legislation, or in social or public policy advocacy.”
The grievance requested the irregularities surrounding the tip and its handling be investigated by the district during the Level two grievance process. Instead, email communication between Freeman and CISD contractor StopIt Solutions, procured by the Campbells via another FOIA request, appears to show that these irregularities were covered up by the district.
JEC’s mother, who had been working as a special education teacher in the district for over 20 years, purportedly faced similar retaliation during this grievance.
Campbell told Texas Scorecard he believes Principal Laura Springer, who oversaw his Level 2 grievance, attempted to cancel part of a planned event for students with special needs and service disabled veterans in retaliation against his wife. With her family under attack, and now facing hostility in her work environment, Mrs. Campbell felt pressure to resign.
In other grievances Campbell filed against the administrators involved, he cited their suspicious behavior. When these allegations went unacknowledged by CISD, he contacted the Office of Governor Abbott, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the Office of Civil Rights, and the Texas Education Agency (TEA).
The Governor’s Office requested TEA open an investigation, which TEA had previously dismissed.
However, TEA closed this investigation on procedural grounds as well, suggesting that the Campbells “follow the local grievance process,” which had expired during their months-long “investigation.” TEA, pursuant to policy, suggested that CISD be their own investigators.
Within CISD, no investigation was launched, and no one was found guilty or disciplined.
The Campbells then filed for discovery in the 116th Court in Dallas, in an attempt to obtain information that would exonerate their son.
But CISD’s attorneys convinced the judge that the court lacked jurisdiction due to the incomplete local grievance process. The process has four levels; the Campbells had completed two.
Despite CISD pleadings in court that CRT discrimination is not official policy, a video was published just weeks ago that revealed CISD Director of Science Evan Whitfield’s stance on CRT. Whitfield was recorded saying that he and those he works with will ignore state law prohibiting Texas public school officials from teaching CRT.
The law, House Bill 3979, was passed during the 2021 legislative session, prior to the issue of Arroyo’s assignment.
Campbell told Texas Scorecard he believes the video evidence of Whitfield bragging to a random stranger on hidden camera—while in the administration building—about flouting the law backs his stance that the school is openly discriminating against Caucasian males and teaching CRT in violation of state law.
Now that the local grievance process is concluded, Campbell says he and his family have filed a civil rights lawsuit against CISD for teaching CRT, discriminating against JEC, and subsequently attacking the Campbell family for reporting discrimination.
Campbell said he hopes the United States District Court will be the government agency that finally provides justice and closure for their family. He has also been volunteering with Texas Education 911, using his son’s situation and other similar situations to promote school reform and protect Texas families.
As of publication, CISD Superintendent Brad Hunt did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s request for comment.