“We felt strongly that this could be a teachable moment for all involved and stated our desire for an apology from the teacher so that we could all move on with a clean slate. That was denied… The teacher was not fired. She was not arrested for breaking the law.”
Last night the school board voted 3-2 to reprimand a 4th grade teacher for having a copy of “This Book Is Anti-Racist” by Tiffany Jewell in her class. After a student brought it home, her parents complained that it violated their “morals and faith.”
This is the letter the mother of the 4th grade girl posted on social media narrating the story and endorsing new school board members. She’s not happy that no one got fired. Or maybe arrested.
Why am I voting for Andrew Yeager for CISD school board? Despite his obvious qualifications as an educator, I have listened to both candidates speak at school board meetings. There is not a doubt in my mind that Mr. Yeager really believes in accountability for educators and administration. Last night, our level 3 grievance was heard and ruled on. To recap, our daughter's class was provided a middle school level book on critical race theory in the classroom library. She brought it home and gave it to me in December 2020. Its contents violated our morals and faith. One month later we calmly gave it to the principal at the end of a meeting in which we discussed our concern over the historical accuracy and social emotional learning aspect of the Scholastic News material provided in the 4th grade classroom. The next morning, all 3 of our daughter's teachers pulled her from the classroom and proceeded to tell her that SHE made a bad choice in bringing her parents the book. All blame was placed on our 10 year old daughter for HER CHOICES. Her teacher then violated Texas Education code by telling our daughter that she was no longer allowed to bring home school books unless the teacher reviewed and approved it. The teacher admitted this in a subsequent meeting and our daughter was the only student in the school this rule existed for. After a very tense meeting with the school administrators and the 3 techers, the teachers stated that they no longer felt comfortable teaching our child and moved her to a new classroom against our wishes the next morning. We felt strongly that this could be a teachable moment for all involved and stated our desire for an apology from the teacher so that we could all move on with a clean slate. That was denied. We worked our way up the chain of command to be denied any accountability and satisfaction. Then we saw a lawyer who told us about something called a grievance. We filed a level one. The principal denied it because she did not feel comfortable determining the legality of the situation. The assistant superintendent denied the level 2 because (I'm summarizing) the lawyers paid for by our tax dollars felt confident that they could argue no law was broken and that coercion did not exist in this situation. Level 3 was argued last night.
Hannah C. Smith impressed my husband immensely. She had not only read each of the 90 pages of our file but had made copious notes and was able to refer back to pages. He said that she was more prepared for our case than the lawyers that the district had spent our tax dollars on. Hannah, Cameron Bryan and Eric Lannen advocated for our child. Everyone else in that room advocated for the system. They advocated for the teacher who violated my daughter's rights. They advocated for covering their asses. They advocated for no accountability when a teacher breaks the law. Hannah, Cam, and Eric advocated for a 10 year old student placed in a terrible situation by the adults around her who then blamed her for their mistakes. I'm proud to have voted for them. I'm so grateful to all of them for their vote and support. Todd Carlton recused himself because he and my husband have a connection. It was a 3-2 decision in favor of placing a formal reprimand in the teacher's file. Sherri Mills made an statement to the effect that she felt their decision did not support teachers and she would like the record to reflect that. What she actually said was that teachers should not fear being held accountable for breaking the law and violating your child's rights. The teacher was not fired. She was not arrested for breaking the law. I chose not to pursue her license through the TEA. Sherri Mills said that she did not support a LETTER IN A TEACHER'S FILE. And Michelle Moore agreed with her. If that doesn't say everything about the incumbents on our school board, I don't know what does. In closing, vote for Andrew Yeager for School Board. Because there are only 3 people up there who will advocate for your babies in the educational machine that we all pay for. There are only 3 people who will hold anyone accountable. WE NEED A FOURTH.