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After comments about Black teachers, Texas school board trustee goes on defense

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 5:47 AM AKST
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CYPRESS, Texas (KTRK/CNN) - A Texas school board trustee defended comments he made where he linked Black teachers to the dropout rate of students.

“Because I dared to disagree that it equates to high retention rates, there have been threats upon my life, and my wife and my children have been targeted. I will take responsibility for not saying it more eloquently,” Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District board trustee Scott Henry said.

In his first public comments since Monday, Henry said his passion for students led him to making a false equivalence between Black teachers and high dropout rates in Houston Independent School District in response to an equity audit he opposes.

Three days later, 34 people showed up at a board meeting to respond.

“And despite the false stats that were shared, none of my students to this day have dropped out due to the fact that their teacher was Black. Instead they have thrived and are changing the world one day at a time,” said a teacher who identified herself as Ms. Hudson.

“I support Scott Henry and the goal that all children are provided with resources and curriculum they need to be successful. The audit does not focus on ensuring that each individual child will be given the tools they need to increase their performance in reading, writing and arithmetic,” Clark Benson said.

“Please focus on the students because we are the number one priority of the school district. Thank you,” student Brian Lamb said.

Most of the speakers said they support the equity audit Henry was arguing against and continued calls for his resignation.

None of the board members echoed those calls, though Gilbert Sarabia, Lucas Scanlon, Debbie Blackshear, Julie Hinaman and Tom Jackson all indicated some support for understanding the audit and implementing some changes in the district.

Jackson, the president of the board, apologized to the community while describing Henry’s comments as a mistake like stubbing a toe.

No action was taken on the topic beyond the comments made by board members and the public.

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