Bowls containing conversational prompts sat on tables, asking questions such as “What can we do to embrace new students or others who are different from us to ensure they feel welcome and accepted?” and “What fears stop you from speaking up or having conversations about gender, race and ethnicity?”
The focus on promoting differences and inclusivity came after a few CISD students posted a controversial video of themselves chanting a derogatory, racial slur on social media in October.
CISD has committed to initiatives, including appointing diversity councils to discuss and advise on initiatives to be implemented on the school district’s cultural competence plan to promote inclusion and tolerance.
There were 180 applicants and 63 were chosen to sit on the district-level diversity council, which will meet for the first time Jan. 30, said Julie Thannum, assistant superintendent for board and community relations. Additionally, all 11 CISD campuses will have a smaller, campus-level diversity council to meet at various times.
Carroll Senior High School Principal Shawn Duhon, along with CISD board President Sheri Mills, kicked off Wednesday’s diversity dialogue with an introduction. Duhon said this was a chance for students to give input on diversity-related issues with district leaders and influence decisions.
CSHS Student Council President Jack Tucker, also in attendance, said he appreciates how the district is actively addressing issues and collaborating with students on issues that concern them.
“As students and as student leaders, it is our responsibility to make our voices heard,” Tucker said, addressing event participants. “It is up to us to be advocates, to be change makers and to be an integral part in the shaping of what is to come for Carroll ISD and our community.”