Parents in a North Texas suburb have confronted their local school board with allegations that a controversial plan is being implemented despite citizen opposition and the board delaying approval. This controversy, in conjunction with allegations of school employees harassing voters who are opposed to the plan, overshadows the school district’s search for a new superintendent, which will impact the plan’s future.
Monday evening, Southlake parents once again confronted the elected board members of the Carroll Independent School District over their controversial Cultural Competency Action Plan (CCAP). As previously reported by Texas Scorecard, the CCAP is a plan that would divide students against each other by tracking those accused of committing “microaggressions” and discrimination.
Nowhere in the plan is there an appeals process, nor does it appear the accused would be considered innocent until proven guilty. CCAP would also establish an LGBTQ+ student focus group for grades 9-12.
Parents were outraged at the idea of CCAP, and complained they had not been consulted. On August 3—under pressure—the board voted to “accept” but not implement the plan until a series of board workshops and public meetings.
After the meeting, it was understood the board would hold another vote in the future on whether or not to implement CCAP, and implementation would not happen before then.
According to Carroll ISD parents, the district hasn’t been keeping to this.
“Last week, a vice principal at Carroll High School [asked teachers] to submit answers to the 13-point [CCAP] rubric,” Ms. Potenza told the board. One of the points of the rubric Potenza quoted asked teachers to examine “their bias and privileges.”
Parents also alleged teachers would be meeting this Thursday to receive further training on CCAP.
“Why are items in CCAP being implemented when, supposedly, CCAP has not been approved?” Leo Delgalvo asked the board.
“We’re not going to be addressing the plan,” Board President Michelle Moore replied. “It’s not being implemented.”
“It is being implemented,” Delgalvo shot back. “The hiring of people to implement CCAP has happened. That has to stop.”
Parents also alleged school staff—who are paid with taxpayer funds—are harassing opponents to CCAP.
“Intimidation with anyone who disagrees with [CCAP] is happening,” Mercedes Reed told the board.
Others also claimed one of the assistant principals has also engaged in harassing CCAP opponents, tweeting about the need to “de-center” whiteness. “What does she mean by ‘de-center whiteness’?” Cathy Delgalvo asked about an alleged post from Assistant Principal Josephine Renee James. “We can’t allow a school administrator to write something racist.”
Texas Scorecard sent inquiries to all Carroll ISD board members regarding the allegations of CCAP implementation and harassment by school employees.
So far, only Todd Carlton has responded, saying he wasn’t present at the meeting and hadn’t heard what was said. “I have cc’d Julie Thannum, our Assistant Superintendent for Board and Community Relations, as she is the district employee that generally handles press inquiries.”
As with the August 3 meeting, some claiming to be students of Carroll ISD spoke to the board in support of CCAP, saying, “Black Lives Matter”—referencing a movement associated with the riots and looting that has brought destruction to cities nationwide. Others who voiced support for CCAP targeted Christians and religious freedom.
“Lots of opposition to the CCAP is religious,” Mattie Hayman said. “Religious freedom doesn’t mean freedom to proselytize.”
Others claimed to have faced discrimination during their time at Carroll ISD, but these were countered by other former students who came to speak against CCAP.
“I’m [a recent] graduate of Carroll Senior High School,” Reginald Williams told the board. “I was never discriminated against.” He expressed concern about how CCAP would teach his cousins about racism, potentially changing how they view him from being their blood relative to a black man. “Why would you make my 4-year-old cousin, my 14-year-old cousin, learn that?”
“I’m a graduate from Carroll ISD, five years ago,” Nobel Quy testified. “In my time at Carroll ISD … I never experienced any kind of real bullying due to racism or anything like that.”
Parent Hui Tan later rose and gave the board a fiery address. “Reject CCAP, period,” he breathed. “I’m not white; I don’t consider myself white or Asian. I don’t want my kids labeled as Asian.”
“America is the least racist country. Southlake is the least racist town, and I’ve been here three years.”
Tan encouraged those who believed otherwise to travel elsewhere in the world.
After a two-hour closed-door executive session, Moore said parents would be notified by email when workshops on CCAP would be held. At these workshops, where the board will learn more about the plan from the District Diversity Council, there will be time set aside for public comments. It will be decided later when to hold meetings in which parents can engage district representatives in a public question-and-answer forum.
Meanwhile, on August 14, Carroll ISD Superintendent David Faltys abruptly announced his intention to retire on January 4, 2021. Carroll ISD Board President Michelle Moore claimed yesterday that Faltys had intended to retire earlier but stayed on to help deal with the Chinese coronavirus.
In regards to searching for a new superintendent, Moore said requests for quotes would be sent to “a select number of search firms” on Tuesday. At least three would be invited to a morning meeting on August 27, and later that same day, the board would select a firm. Parents expressed they did not want CCAP to go any further until a new superintendent is hired.
“No further actions should be made on the CCAP until the new superintendent has [a] chance to review it,” Randy Robbins told the board.
Parents concerned about CCAP are encouraged to attend all board workshops and public meetings about the plan, as well as express their opinions about potential candidates for a new superintendent.
Contact information for Carroll ISD board members is listed below.
Michelle Moore: [email protected]
Todd Carlton: [email protected]
David Almand: [email protected]
Danny Gilpin: [email protected]
Eric Lannen: [email protected]
Sheri Mills: [email protected]
Matt Bryant: [email protected]