Parents Speak Out About Critical Race Theory & Curriculum Being Used In MISD

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Midlothian Parents Urge MISD School Board To “Be Leaders”

School is out for the summer and one might assume school board meetings would be mundane. That wasn’t the case last night as several parents and community members participated in public comment at the MISD board meeting. The issue: parents want the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to resign or be removed, and for social/emotional learning curriculum to be evaluated. This issue wasn’t on the evening’s agenda, yet all of the public comments were on this topic.

At a school board meeting in May, parents addressed the board and presented a petition with over 1000 signatures asking for the removal of Midlothian ISD’s Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Ms. Chalisa Fain.

The petition was started when parents began questioning social media posts by Ms. Fain on her personal accounts. In the petition they state, “Mrs. Fain only cares about protecting and promoting the black race.” Those supporting the petition believe Ms. Fain’s social media postings demonstrate a lack of impartiality and believe her posts are inflammatory leading to more divisiveness.

Since the Board meeting in May, there hasn’t been any public discussion or actions by the Board to address the concerns of the 1100+ people that have signed the petition.

What Is Being Taught In The Classroom?

So, feeling their concerns have been ignored, last night several parents again used the public comment time to voice their concerns over what they describe as a “lack of leadership.” Wearing red t-shirts that said, “Teach…show…live…RESPECT Midlothian,TX 2021, another shirt said “The Human Race-Midlothian, TX 2021”, each speaker used their entire five minutes or went slightly over their allotted time.

The consensus of those that spoke, including a local Pastor, (quote from petition) “Teaching values and belief systems is the responsibility of the parents and family. Therefore, political messages cannot be allowed in the classroom on such topics like BLM, homosexuality, or immigration.”

Reverend Shull’s passionate speech concluded with him urging Ms. Fain to immediately resign or for the MISD Board to “defund her position immediately”.

The Debate Over Social Emotional Learning

Parents expressed concerns about curriculum promoting social/emotional/learning and other programs the District is using like BrainPop. Many parents feel like BrainPop is teaching indoctrination over education.

Note: In 2019, Governor Abbott signed into law school safety legislation (Texas SB11) requiring all Texas school districts to add a social/emotional learning component to their curriculum.

A Closer Look At The Curriculum

Speakers feel like the Board is being indecisive by not addressing their concerns. The recurring message questioned the leadership or perceived lack thereof of Trustees.

During the budget portion of the school board meeting, Trustees asked Mr. Norris questions about how curriculum is evaluated. Trustee Tobey pointed out that software and technology needs to be evaluated, and Gonzales suggesting a subcommittee take a closer look. Trustee Gonzalez also pointed out that twelve of the thirteen public comments expressed concerns over what is being taught in the classroom.

During this time, Vice President Walton pointed out 53% of the budget is for instruction and asked Mr. Norris how much of the budget is allocated for CRT? The answer is none.

Walton also pointed out that the Board’s role is to set goals for academics, whereas implementation belongs to administration.

Dr. Fey took the time to state, “Our teachers get a lot of autonomy in the classrooms to teach, and we get great results with our kids in that light. when we start looking at auditing for curriculum appropriateness and such, we tend to become much more streamlined in what our teachers can and cannot do in their classrooms, and while that is good for some, that is not good for others. I just want us to be very cognizant of that and understand that. Our teachers and our system…are the best resource for students.”

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Kristin Barclay
Kristin Barclay graduated from the University of South Carolina with a major in Journalism and Advertising. Throughout her career, Kristin has demonstrated a passion for storytelling and a commitment to providing accurate, timely, and informative news coverage. She has a deep understanding of the issues and concerns facing local communities and has earned a reputation as a trusted source for reliable news and information. In addition to her work as an editor and journalist, Kristin is also a skilled writer and has written articles on a wide range of topics, including politics, business, education, and culture. She has a keen eye for detail and a talent for crafting compelling stories that engage and inform readers. Kristin is also an active member of the community and has volunteered her time and resources to numerous organizations and causes. She believes in the importance of giving back and making a positive impact on the world around us. In addition to her professional accomplishments, Kristin Barclay is also a passionate advocate for local journalism and the role it plays in keeping communities informed and engaged. She believes strongly in the importance of supporting local news outlets and is dedicated to ensuring that quality journalism remains a vital part of our society. Outside of work, Kristin enjoys traveling both for business and pleasure. She loves exploring new places, meeting new people, and experiencing different cultures. Whether she's on a business trip or a vacation, Kristin is always eager to discover what makes each place unique and special. Kristin's passions include boots, bourbon, dogs and college football. She is a self-proclaimed boot aficionado and has an impressive collection of cowboy boots that she wears with pride. She also enjoys sipping on a good bourbon and spending time with her husband and beloved border collies. Last but certainly not least, Kristin is the proud mother of two children who bring joy and meaning to her life. She is deeply committed to being a loving and supportive parent, and her children are her greatest source of inspiration and motivation