Carroll ISD trustees vote to hash out details of cultural competence plan in series of future workshops

The district's non-white student body has grown from 11.9% in 2008-09 to 33.3% in 2017-18, according to the district.
The district's non-white student body has grown from 11.9% in 2008-09 to 33.3% in 2017-18, according to the district.

The district's non-white student body has grown from 11.9% in 2008-09 to 33.3% in 2017-18, according to the district.

The Carroll ISD board of trustees took initial steps in receiving a cultural competence action plan at an Aug. 3 meeting.

The primary goals of the plan include promoting cultural competence within Carroll ISD; facilitating communication and understanding among different stakeholders and serving as a community resource; advocating for and supporting culturally competent and responsive programs and policies; engaging students, staff and faculty to collect feedback on cultural competence in CISD; and proposing strategies for reaching cultural competence.

But trustees did not approve the plan outright, and instead opted to conduct further workshops to clarify details of the plan.

The vote was 5-2, with trustees Michelle Moore, Sheri Mills, Danny Gilpin, Todd Carlton and Dave Almand for, and trustees Eric Lannen and Matt Bryant against.

Dozens of speakers, including students, former elected officials, parents and members of the Southlake community, provided comment at the meeting both in support and against the adoption of the plan.


The compilation of the plan comes as part of the work of the district's diversity council, which formed after a video surfaced in the fall of 2018 showing CISD students chanting a racial slur.

"This is the reason we are all here today discussing this plan," district diversity council co-chair Eric Ransom said at the meeting. "It's often said that time heals all wounds, but in this case, time helps those looking to forget their actions. But the children that have slurs screamed at them on tape, ... those wounds will never heal."

Among a laundry list of implementation procedures, the current plan would include the creation of a process for students to report instances of discrimination.

Assistant Superintendent for Student Services Janet McDade said these reporting avenues are already in place, but the plan would raise awareness for students to speak up about instances of discrimination. It would also establish a more robust process for tracking microaggressions.

The district defines microaggressions in the draft plan 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.

The district's non-white student body has grown from 11.9% in 2008-09 to 33.3% in 2017-18, according to the district.

Trustees differed on whether their Aug. 3 vote should allow district administration to begin implementation of the plan in its current form. That discussion happened before they voted to begin reviewing the plan in its entirety through a series of future meetings.

"There is no excuse for us as a board to not take action," Board President Michelle Moore said.
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.


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