The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has opened an investigation into a Texas school district where an administrator pushed teachers to present “opposing” perspectives of the Holocaust.
On Wednesday, the OCR acknowledgedA Carroll Independent School District inquiry was opened in Southlake Texas. The district faces three separate allegations of discrimination based on race and gender filed by students, and claims to be “fully cooperating” with the agency’s work.
The agency has not revealed the details of the three cases it is investigating. Carroll Independent Schools has been in the news several times this year. Administrators make some disturbing choices — including telling teachers during a staff training that they should offer “opposing…perspectives” to the Holocaust, and removing anti-racist books from libraries after parents complained the books went against their “morals and faith.”
Several parents within the district — which is majority white but which has become more diverse in recent years — have lauded the decision to open an investigation, noting a number of troubling actions taken by students and teachers alike.
Three years ago the district had promised to address racismAfter a viral video was posted of white students chanting n-words, many people took notice. Former students shared a number of incidents of harassment against LGBTQ and non-white students after the video was posted.
The school district’s promises to address racism went unfulfilled after conservative parents packed school board meetings to block the district’s Cultural Competence Action Plan (CCAP) in 2020. A number of those parents had complained that giving diversity training to teachers and students amounted to “reverse racism.”
Parents in favor of the OCR’s decision to investigate also noted specific instances involving their own children facing bigotry from other students and teachers. Local media was told by a Muslim parent that their child was forced to sit through a classroom lesson on 9/11 five years ago that “insinuated that all Muslims are terrorists.” After the lesson was over, the child’s peers asked whether she was a terrorist and whether she was going to kill them, the parent added.
However, the majority of the community is opposed to any action to address the bigotry in the area, including the latest intervention by Department of Education. Southlake Mayor John Huffman lashed out at the OCR investigation, claiming — without evidence — that the inquiry was a response from the federal government over the schools dropping curricula on Critical Race Theory (CRT) from its planned lessons.
“I don’t think I am alone in wondering if this investigation is retaliation for our voters rejecting the pro-CRT CCAP plan, especially since the threat to involve the federal government was made by some CCAP supporters to the media,” Huffman alleged.
The district did not intend to teach lessons on Critical Race Theory. A subgenre in legal studiesThis is usually reserved for college or university-level coursework and examines the effects that race and gender structures have on society and the law. Conservatives in the United States have attempted to make Critical Race Theory more mainstream. into a new “boogeyman” for parents to fear, in order to block any lessons that critically examine the country’s history of racism, colonialism and white supremacy.