Cy-Fair ISD Board President Bob Covey announced Oct. 11 the district administration is reviewing the use of the No Place for Hate program in CFISD schools and working to create an in-house character education program.

No Place for Hate is a program from the Anti-Defamation League designed to create and maintain school environments where all students can thrive through anti-bias and bullying-prevention activities.

“Because of the changes in some of the materials offered by the Anti-Defamation League—the developers of the No Place for Hate program—we have made a decision to direct the administration to put a hold on this program across the district,” Covey said during the Oct. 11 board meeting. “Our intent is for the district to develop an internal, age-appropriate series of programs specific to Cy-Fair ISD to be implemented at our campuses.”

Covey said a number of CFISD campuses have participated in this program for more than 20 years. At least 1,600 schools nationwide have also adopted No Place for Hate teachings, which are intended to “build a learning community of inclusivity, respect and equity,” according to the ADL.

Nearly all campuses throughout the district earned a No Place for Hate designation as of 2019-20, according to the district.

In September 2020, the board of trustees signed a resolution condemning racism, which included a commitment to consult with an outside group to conduct an equity audit and help develop a plan to address issues of equity in academic opportunity, representation in hiring and student discipline measures. The resolution also laid out the board’s desire to have all CFISD schools earn the No Place for Hate designation.

Now, Covey said district officials are meeting with parents, students, church leaders and community members to understand potential concerns with the No Place for Hate program and seek input to “create a program that best meets the needs of our students.”

Covey explained the state government requires public schools to address bullying and support a positive school environment. The passage of House Bill 1026 in the 86th Texas Legislature, which was authored by former Cy-Fair-area state Rep. Dwayne Bohac, R-Houston, required school districts to incorporate character education into their curriculum starting in the 2021-22 school year.

District officials are in the early stages of the program’s development, Covey said, so a timeline for its launch in CFISD schools has not been determined.