Voters in Southlake, Texas, a suburb of the Dallas/Fort Worth area, gave school board and city council candidates who oppose putting critical race theory in public school curriculums 70 percent of the vote in an election on Saturday.
The election comes nine months after the Carroll Independent School District introduced a proposal to install so-called “anti-racism” and “cultural competency” lessons into the schools.
Congrats to Southlake, Hannah, Cam, John, Randy and Amy! Critical Race Theory ain’t coming here. This is what happens when good people stand up and say, not in my town, not on my watch.
— Southlake Families (@SouthlakeFamPAC) May 2, 2021
NBC reported favorably about the people who backed the progressive changes:
In an unusually bitter campaign that echoed a growing national divide over how to address issues of race, gender and sexuality in schools, candidates in the city of Southlake were split between two camps: those who supported new diversity and inclusion training requirements for Carroll students and teachers and those backed by a political action committee that was formed last year to defeat the plan.
On one side, progressives argued that curriculum and disciplinary changes were needed to make all children feel safe and welcome in Carroll, a mostly white but quickly diversifying school district. On the other, conservatives in Southlake rejected the school diversity plan as an effort to indoctrinate students with a far-left ideology that, according to some, would institutionalize discrimination against white children and those with conservative Christian values.
Hannah Smith, a lawyer who clerked for Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, defeated Ed Hernandez, a business consultant, for a seat on the school board.
“The voters have come together in record-breaking numbers to restore unity,” Smith said in a statement. “By a landslide vote, they don’t want racially divisive critical race theory taught to their children or forced on their teachers. Voters agreed with my positive vision of our community and its future.”
Hernandez was backed by the student-led Southlake Anti-Racism Coalition, which collected accounts from people who claim they were bullied in school.
”I don’t want to think about all these kids that shared their stories, their testimonies,” Hernandez said. “I don’t want to think about that right now, because it’s really, really hard for me. I feel really bad for all those kids, every single one of them that shared a story. I don’t have any words for them.”
NBC’s report put race, sexual orientation, and income as reasons for the election results, citing that the city of Southlake is mostly white and wealthy.
The efforts to change school curriculum started when the school diversity committee released a 34-page document called the Cultural Competency Action Plan, was released last summer and was swiftly met with opposition.
For months, conservative parents packed school board meetings, decrying aspects of the proposal that they said would have created “diversity police” and amounted to “reverse racism.” Members of the Southlake Families PAC, which was formed within days of the plan’s release, took particular issue with a district proposal to track incidents of microaggressions — subtle, indirect, and sometimes unintentional incidents of discrimination.