Southlake Car­roll schools tak­ing ac­tion af­ter racist video on so­cial me­dia

Star-Telegram - - News - BY EL­IZ­A­BETH CAMP­BELL liz@star-tele­gram.com

The Southlake Car­roll school dis­trict is launch­ing a plan to ad­dress con­cerns about race and cul­tural di­ver­sity af­ter a video show­ing stu­dents us­ing ra­cial slurs sur­faced on so­cial me­dia re­cently.

The video, which was filmed off cam­pus, showed a group of teens, mostly girls, chant­ing the n-word. Con­se­quences were handed down to the stu­dents who took part in the video, but the dis­trict did not pro­vide de­tails be­cause of con­fi­den­tial­ity laws.

Con­cerns over the video led to a spe­cially called board meet­ing Nov. 2, where a large crowd ad­dressed its con­cerns over race and how the dis­trict is han­dling the is­sue.

Dur­ing a meet­ing Mon­day, school board vice pres­i­dent Michelle Moore dis­cussed a “cul­tural com­pe­tence” plan. It would ad­dress bul­ly­ing and add stronger lan­guage to the dis­trict’s Code of Con­duct.

Dis­trict spokes­woman Julie Than­num said the dis­trict is work­ing quickly to ad­dress the need to ed­u­cate stu­dents and staff about cul­tural di­ver­sity.

“We want to make sure that our staff has the re­sources and train­ing to deal with our dif­fer­ences. It’s been kind of a ter­ri­ble time for us, but it has also been a time for us to lis­ten to each other,” Than­num said.

Than­num em­pha­sized that this is not sim­ply a school dis­trict is­sue. She said Southlake Mayor Laura Hill is work­ing with the dis­trict on ini­tia­tives to dis­cuss the grow­ing di­ver­sity in the com­mu­nity.

Than­num said she has seen a shift in de­mo­graph­ics since she joined the dis­trict 22 years ago. In one year, the English As Sec­ond Lan­guage pro­gram grew by 60 per­cent, she said.

“We can do bet­ter. We need to do bet­ter to teach our kids to value dif­fer­ences,” she said. “That’s what makes our com­mu­nity so strong. We need to take the op­por­tu­nity to part­ner with city and fam­i­lies to make sure our kids know what we value as they grow up.”

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