Updated with comments from Texas School for the Deaf
As some school districts are moving away from divisive racial policies and critical race theory, a state-run school in Texas is seeking to hire a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion consultant, according to documents obtained by Texas Scorecard.
Opened in 1857, the Texas School for the Deaf in Austin is the oldest continually operated public school in the state. It also has the distinction of operating both as an Independent School District and a state agency.
Similar to other school districts in Texas, the school is governed by a board. Those members, however, aren’t elected; instead, they are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate.
On Friday, the board is set to hold a meeting. Ahead of the meeting, Superintendent Claire Bugen provided an update on their District Improvement Plan, which includes upcoming plans to interview and hire a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) consultant in the coming weeks.
As stated, the goal of hosting such a program is to “create a culturally responsive school climate and culture that fosters inclusivity and mutual respect while providing the resources and supports necessary to accomplish TSD’s school mission.”
In practice, however, such programs have been revealed to be tools for the radical left to infiltrate schools with social justice and critical race theory.
Such policies, for example, have come under fire in Fort Worth ISD.
In 2016, the FWISD school board created a “racial equity committee,” then adopted a racial and ethnic equity policy that “outlines institutional racism throughout our system.”
Two years later, a Fort Worth school board member openly lectured high school students about critical race theory, telling them Latinos are locked in a struggle against institutional racial bias from “white America.”
By 2021, it was clear Fort Worth ISD was fixated on putting “racial equity” above all else, with one official acknowledging it is “infused in all of our work.”
Meanwhile, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD earlier this week moved to ban critical race theory and the promotion of “gender fluidity.”
Additionally, DEI consulting firms have proven to be controversial.
Earlier this year, the City of Temple considered hiring the Chicago-based NOVA Collective, whose website pushes alternate “gender language,” including options of “omnigender, polygender, pangender, genderfluid, transgender” and others with pronouns of “Ze, Zim, Zira, Zirself, Xe, Xem Xyr, Xemself.”
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The city opted out of the agreement following citizen backlash.
A spokesman for Texas School for the Deaf emphasized to Texas Scorecard that there was no approval item on the board’s agenda for the DEI consultant, but noted that, “The Superintendent does provide a high-level summary report to the Governing Board at each meeting. In that report, there is mention of an update on an RFP for DE&I consultant work.”
Gov. Greg Abbott—who appointed the school’s board—has not responded to request for comment.
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