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Southlake Cultural Competence Advocacy Group Pushes Back

The Cultural and Racial Equity For Every Dragon (CREED) organization issued a letter to Carroll ISD demanding for the adoption of a Cultural Competence Action Plan. 

On Friday, March 12, CREED and its supporters assembled at Frank Cornish Park in Southlake Town Square to demand the district adopt CCAP or another mutually acceptable diversity, equity and inclusion plan. Texas State Senator Royce West is representing the organization on behalf of his firm West & Associates L.L.P. 

Last year, the District Diversity Council presented a rough draft of CCAP to the school board to address ongoing issues of racism inside the district. Work on the plan was put on hold after Southlake parent Kristin Garcia filed a lawsuit against the trustees for allegedly violating the Texas Open Meetings Act and district court judge Josh Burgess issued a temporary restraining order against the district. 

“Their secret deliberations, evidenced by the text messages, are about official board business and occurred outside of a properly noticed meeting,” the lawsuit says. “These actions constitute a blatant and knowing violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act.” 

CREED’s demand letter requests any settlement regarding the pending lawsuit would not undermine the adoption or implementation of any diversity, equity or inclusion plan and requested to be part of any mediation team resolving the matter. If they are unable to resolve the issue through negotiation, West says they may file suit against the board for failing to protect its students in the district. 

“This is not a black and white issue. This is an inclusion issue. This is a diversity issue,” Royce says. “We want to be sitting at the table to be a part of that discussion.” 

CISD Assistant Superintendent for Board and Community Relations Julie Thannum says the district and Garcia will participate in a mediation soon to try and resolve their differences. 

“We are hopeful our efforts in mediation will allow us to have an open discussion about how to move forward,” Julie says. “And at the end of the day, the only way we move forward is together.”

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