Carroll ISD trustees to engage public over draft cultural competence plan

In early August, demonstrators called for the board of trustees to approve the new cultural competence plan. (Photos courtesy Anika Shah)
In early August, demonstrators called for the board of trustees to approve the new cultural competence plan. (Photos courtesy Anika Shah)

In early August, demonstrators called for the board of trustees to approve the new cultural competence plan. (Photos courtesy Anika Shah)

Recent Carroll ISD board meetings have drawn crowds of people seeking to weigh in on the district’s draft cultural competence plan.

Speakers at these meetings have included students, alumni, parents and former elected officials. Those advocating for the adoption and implementation of the plan have referenced dozens of testimonies of discrimination from current and former CISD students.

The district’s non-white student body has grown from 11.9% in 2008-09 to 36.9% in 2019-20, according to district and Texas Education Agency data.

Trustees voted Aug. 3 to review the plan in its entirety over a series of future meetings. Those meetings are expected to begin at the end of September and will include two board work sessions and a community engagement session.

The draft competence plan is a 34-page document that has been in the making for over a year. It represents the work of a district diversity council that was formed in response to a video that surfaced in the fall of 2018 in which CISD students were shown using a racial slur.


Some of the primary goals of the draft plan include promoting cultural competence; facilitating communication with stakeholders; advocating for culturally competent and responsive programs and policies; and collecting feedback on cultural competence.

Elements of the draft plan include adding cultural competence training for staff; sharing information about each campus’ diversity and demographics data; and creating a process for tracking and reporting microaggressions.

CISD alum Anika Shah and dozens of others staged protests in front of the CISD administration building in response to the board not adopting the plan at the Aug. 3 meeting.

“I do believe that we had people rallying for us on the board, but it did not go the way we wanted it to go,” Shah said. “It was purely out of frustration from all the students and parents.”Shah also helped launch the Southlake Anti Racism Coalition, which widely shared student testimonies.

“We started doing that by first gaining traction through the testimonies that we’ve been posting on Instagram,” Shah said. “That gained us a lot of momentum because we caught people’s attention through these stories that no one had ever heard before.”

Those opposing the plan believe the language in the document goes too far, and some took issue with the use of terms like “microaggressions.”

The draft defines microaggressions as verbal or nonverbal insults, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory or negative messages to target groups based upon their marginalized or underrepresented group membership.

“To me, it appears that the issue here is bullying. The student code of conduct already has language against bullying,” CISD parent Mary Tamargo said at an Aug. 17 meeting.

A political action committee called Southlake Families PAC has registered with the Texas Ethics Commission. A website funded by that PAC calls for a 6-month delay to the board’s final vote on the plan.

The board of trustees signaled its desire to engage and inform the public regarding the review of the competence plan as dates are being set for future workshop meetings.

“I’ve got 34 pages worth of questions of the document that we got,” trustee Danny Gilpin said at an Aug. 17 meeting. “I’d like a venue where we can ask our questions, ... and then, we can have a conversation with the community.”
By Gavin Pugh
Gavin has reported for Community Impact Newspaper since June 2017. His beat has included Dallas Area Rapid Transit, public and higher education, school and municipal governments and more. He now serves as the editor of the Grapevine, Colleyville, Southlake edition.


MOST RECENT

An estimated 3,500 trees were destroyed by last October's tornado. (Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)
Free trees: Replace those lost in Richardson tornado and more DFW news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Concept art for the front signage of the hotel (Contributed by Marriott)
Marriott hotel to open second Delta Hotels DFW location in Southlake

Marriott hotel will be opening its second Delta DFW location in mid-November in Southlake.

Applications for Southlake's grant program will open in December. (Courtesy Pexels)
Southlake to open applications for $1 million business grant program

Southlake is working on a new small-business grant relief program to help local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Home furnishings retailer Living Spaces has opened a store in Fort Worth and will offer a variety of designer collections, including Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines. (Courtesy Living Spaces)
Living Spaces opens in Fort Worth and more DFW-area news

Read the latest Dallas-Fort Worth business and community news.

Oct. 23 is the last day Texas voters can apply for a vote-by-mail ballot. (Courtesy Pexels)
Tackling Texas' vote-by-mail system: Applying, delivering, tracking your ballot

Oct. 23 is the last day Texas voters can apply for a vote-by-mail ballot.

The L.A.B. Med Spa is located in Southlake and offers a variety of treatments and facials. (Courtesy of the L.A.B. Med Spa)
New medical spa The L.A.B. now open in Southlake

A newly opened medical spa in Southlake offers a variety of facials and treatments including neurotoxins.

Grapevine City Council and the Grapevine Planning and Zoning Commission listen to a presentation from Greystar representative Andrew Ord about expanding the Preserve's apartment complex, located near the DFW Airport and Highway 360. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
Grapevine officials approve apartment complex expansion

Grapevine City Council and the Grapevine Planning and Zoning Commission held a joint meeting Oct. 20 to approve Phase II of the Preserve, a luxury apartment complex near the DFW Airport.

The newly opened Hotel Vin and the upcoming Harvest Hall adjacent to the hotel are looking to hire employees during their Oct. 22 hiring fair. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
Hotel Vin, Harvest Hall set to host hiring fair in Grapevine

Individuals interested in working at Hotel Vin or Harvest Hall can attend a hiring fair Oct. 22.

Carroll ISD is in the process of hiring a new superintendent. So far, it has received 45 candidate applications. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
Carroll ISD to begin reviewing superintendent applications next week

Carroll ISD's board of trustees will begin interviews for 45 candidates next week as the district searches for a new superintendent.

The location is owned by local husband-wife team Jesse and Mary Rose Merin. (Courtesy Dickey's Barbecue Pit)
Dickey's Barbecue opens in Frisco and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

E&A Transpro Inc. is an Illinois-based logistics company. They are relocating to a new location in Grapevine. (Courtesy E&A TransPros Inc. website)
Logistics company E&A relocating operations to Grapevine

E&A, an Illinois-based logistics company, will be relocating from Carrollton to Grapevine.

This is an artist's rendering of the GMi Headquarters on 2450 Crooked Lane. (Courtesy ClayMoore Engineering)
Potential new Southlake mixed-use development gets initial approval

Southlake City Council is discussing a new development project on Crooked Lane that would include a headquarters facility for GMi Contractors as well as other flex office space.