Education Department Launches Civil Rights Probe Into Texas School District

Education Department Launches Civil Rights Probe Into Texas School District School children walking to their classroom. Learners of a mixed class of grades 4-6 go back to the classroom. (Christoph Soeder/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images)

By Nick Koutsobinas | Thursday, 18 November 2021 06:04 AM

The Department of Education's civil rights enforcement arm is opening three investigations into a Texas school district after complaints were waged alleging discrimination based on race, gender, and cultural origin, according to NBC News.

The department's Office for Civil Rights notified officials of the Carroll Independent School District in Southlake, Texas, last week that it had opened three investigations regarding student discrimination.

But this is not the first time the district has come under fire for matters regarding discrimination. Three years ago, the district drew headlines over videos surfaced of white students chanting the N-word.

A spokeswoman with the school district, Karen Fitzgerald, commented that it had received three notifications letters and is "fully cooperating with this process."

"Our focus, she says, "will always be what is best for our students as we prepare them for their next steps in their educational journey." But Fitzgerald also points out that federal law prohibits her from addressing cases involving specific students.

According to The Hill, in August 2020 the district put out a 34-page report designated for the Cultural Competence Action Plan, which called for widespread diversity training. And last month, the district made headlines after a teacher suggested that if students were going to learn about the Holocaust, then they should also read about an "opposing perspective."

When pressed on how a school could have opposing views on the Holocaust, Gina Peddy, the school district's executive director of curriculum, said, "believe me, that's come up."