Federal education investigations launched into Texas school district
Information about Federal education investigations launched into Texas school district
The Department of Education’s office of civil rights has launched three investigations into a school district in Southlake, Texas, over allegations related to discrimination based on race, color, national origin, or sex, a department spokesperson confirmed Wednesday.
The Carroll Independent School District drew national attention last month after its top administrator advised teachers to provide students with books that covered “opposing” perspectives of the Holocaust.
The affluent and majority-white district, just northwest of Dallas, also found itself in the spotlight three years ago when a video of white high school students chanting a racial slur became public, NBC reported.
Following the video’s release, community members and alumni stepped forward to share the harassment and bullying they experienced while in school. Jake Berman, who is Jewish, told board members that the high school bullying he experienced in the 1990s nearly pushed him to the brink of suicide.
“I received everything from jokes about my nose to gas chambers, all while studying for my bar mitzvah,” Berman said. “The facts are that there are not two sides of the Holocaust.”
For USA TODAY subscribers:Schools can teach full US history under critical race theory bans, experts say. Here’s how
The district’s former board president, Buddy Luce, told NBC it was a sad day for the district, but one that’s overdue.
“The credit goes to a group of Carroll alumni and the Southlake Anti Racism Coalition who documented hundreds of testimonies by students on what’s going on,” Luce said. “The way that’s been swept under the rug is, I think, the reason why I think the Department of Education Civil Rights Division is having to take this action.”
Over two-thirds of the school district’s students are white, according to a 2020 study from the district. 2% of students are Jewish.
The Department of Education didn’t include alleged discrimination based on religion as a reason for opening the investigations.
According to the Texas Tribune, the school introduced plans for diversity training and increased accountability last year, but efforts were effectively blocked by conservative organizing.
Carroll Independent School District didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.