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.
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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.”
Southlake schools diversity snapshot
Two or more races
American Indian/Alaska nNative
Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander