Posters of Black and white children holding hands? A Texas school trustee wants to halt such displays

The trustee criticizing shows of diversity says such images represent "symbols of personal ideologies."

Trustees with the Conroe Independent School District in Montgomery County, Texas, want to crack down on racial unity and other diversity posters. 

According to ABC 13, one trustee claimed a child was traumatized by a poster showing Black and white children holding hands and had to switch classrooms. Some officials are pushing to remove all displays of racial inclusivity and Pride.

A poster showing children of different races holding hands is being challenged by a trustee in a Texas school district. (Credit: AdobeStock)

The trustees criticizing the displays said such images represent “symbols of personal ideologies.”

School officials said there is already a policy prohibiting non-curricular political displays. Melissa Dungan, the trustee complaining about the multi-ethnic posters, wants fellow board members to take action after receiving new complaints from parents.  

“I wish I was shocked by each of the examples that were shared with me, however, I am aware these trends have been happening for many years,” Dungan said, according to ABC 13.

“Just so I understand, you are seriously suggesting that you find objectionable, a poster indicating that all are included,” Stacey Chase, another trustee, said. 

Dungan would not specify whether she found the poster objectionable, only that she wants to avoid similar “situations,” according to ABC 13. She said she wants stricter policies than the ones already in place that prohibit teachers from displaying political messages not relevant to the classroom.

Dungan struggled to answer a question about whether Bible verses also violate existing policy and should be removed. 

The opposition to inclusivity in the classroom highlights how diversity and anti-racism efforts have faced resistance and backlash in Texas for the past decade. 

In 2010, the Texas State Board of Education adopted a social studies and history curriculum that waters down the teaching of the Civil Rights Movement, theGrio reported. 

Last year, the Texas Education Agency, which oversees primary and secondary public education, mandated that any new charter school submit a “statement of assurance” that students would not learn critical race theory, theGrio reported. 

According to The Texas Tribune, each statement must ensure that “the school design and curricular materials are aligned with the TEKS including all clauses of HB 3979 and any subsequent related legislation.” 

TEKS refers to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, the state standards for students’ learning in each class or grade.

In a related action, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill in June making Texas the second state in the country, after Florida, to ban DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) offices at public universities, The Texas Tribune reported.

Many GOP lawmakers nationwide consider addressing race, equity and diversity issues unnecessary, divisive, or even politically motivated by Democrats. Some groups oppose talk of racism and colonization in schools, calling such discussions biased or overly negative. 

Other efforts employ misinformation campaigns, with false narratives and misleading data that can result in confusion or opposition to inclusivity and anti-racism policies and programs.

“Our lawmakers fundamentally misunderstand the role of DEI in reconciling a longstanding history of systemic exclusion in Texas’s institutions of higher learning,” a group of leaders from Texas Students for DEI said in a statement, the Texas Tribune reported. 

“The implementation of DEI offices and practices may be banned from college campuses, but the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion can never be removed from us, the people,” the group said.

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