The request followed a series of nationwide protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a black man, while in the custody of Minneapolis police officers as well as other recent deaths of black people at the hands of police.
During the videoconferenced school board meeting June 9, Lemond Dixon asked that the district be proactive and push to understand the sensitivities and experiences of all students. She also asked for the district to develop a formal diversity statement to include in the board’s vision and mission statement.
“As we all know, actions speak louder than words, so it's important that we demonstrate our values in actionable and meaningful ways,” she said. “As an example of this, I propose that we incorporate diversity and inclusion training as part of our professional development for all of our employees.”
Lemond Dixon, who is a black woman, shared an experience she had years ago with a police officer while traveling with her husband. She said she was pulled over by officers, asked to provide license and insurance, and then was asked to step out of her vehicle.
Once there, the officer asked her questions, such as how she and her husband could afford their car and what they did for a living. The officer never said why they had been pulled over, and she was eventually able to continue on without incident. Lemond Dixon said she discusses this experience now with her children.
“That was 22 years ago, and I still today have to tell my children that this could happen to them, so I have to talk to them about how to handle this particular type of situation,” she said.
Trustees supported and thanked Lemond Dixon for her comments and her personal story. Trustee Robert Scarfo said he agreed that the district should double its efforts toward diversity and inclusion.
“I personally support these efforts ... and we’ll make this not just a one-time discussion item, but that it’s something that really has to become part of our—even more than it is, because I’m not saying people don’t make that effort across the board—but it really does need to be woven even more deeply into our fabric that we call Humble ISD," he said.
Other agenda items:
- Trustees also selected new board officers. Robert Sitton replaced Nancy Morrison as president, Lemond Dixon replaced Sitton as vice president, Scarfo replaced Lemond Dixon as secretary, and Lori Twomey replaced Angela Conrad, who resigned in March, as parliamentarian.
- Trustees unanimously approved the superintendent contract for 2020-25.
- Trustees unanimously approved the contractor for Middle School No. 10, which is set to open in August 2022. Flintco LLC was chosen as the contractor for the $46.64 million school.