During a Feb. 22 board meeting, Marble Falls Independent School District Superintendent Chris Allen outlined short-term and long-term actions being taken by the district to mitigate racist and discriminatory behavior within MFISD. Screen capture from MFISD YouTube
The Marble Falls Independent School District is pursuing actions to mitigate racist and discriminatory behavior taking place on campuses. Superintendent Chris Allen outlined short- and long-term strategies the district will pursue during the Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday, Feb. 22.
About 25 people, including district staff, school board members, the three parents who spoke in January, and other residents attended the meeting, according to MFISD Board of Trustees President Kevin Naumann. Attendees divided into small groups for discussion, during which many shared personal experiences with board members and staff. They also discussed policies that outline protocols on how the district can teach about “controversial issues.”
“(The meeting) was eye opening,” Naumann said in an interview with DailyTrib.com. “What stood out to me is it is very clearly not a Black and white issue. It’s a hate issue. Some of the comments had to do with kids getting picked on because they were Hispanic or because they were Asian. My takeaway was there are some very short-term things we can do in terms of being more diligent in celebrating multicultural events throughout the year.”
Currently, administration is reviewing verbiage in both the Student Handbook and the Student Code of Conduct to determine if and where it should be strengthened regarding acceptable behavior, Allen said during the Feb. 22 meeting. Other short-term and mid-term actions being pursued include exploring cultural appreciation materials and programs to train staff and creating student groups dedicated to increasing respect on campuses.
Allen said MFISD also will re-emphasize celebrating “historical and cultural events of the United States and the world,” some of which are outlined in district policy. Additionally, the district will look at partnering with community leaders and organizers to promote cultural awareness, ensuring district personnel reflect the demographics of the district and other long-term goals.
Naumann said he hopes these actions will help pave the way toward a more respectful and united community.
“There’s still a lot to do, but this is a step forward,” he said.