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NAACP LDF attorney illuminates civil rights complaint against Carroll ISD on behalf of students

A green sign that says "Carroll ISD Administration Center," with the Carroll Dragons mascot, stands in front of a large school administration building in the distance.
Keren Carrión
Carroll ISD Administration Building in Southlake, TX, on Oct. 27, 2021.

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund has filed a civil rights complaint against Carroll ISD, through the Department of Education.

A complaint is different from a lawsuit, in that the NAACP LDF action “assists the Department of Education’s ongoing investigation into the Carroll Independent School District.” That investigation considers allegations of bullying and of violations of anti-discrimination laws.

Assistant Counsel with the NAACP LDF, Antonio Ingram, told KERA the complaint “chronicles instances where individuals have faced discrimination on the basis of their race and their sexual orientation and sexual identity.”

He said no one’s calling anyone else a racist, nor is this an ideological battle over politics, which can dominate adult debates.

Ingram said it’s about students getting the quality education they’re entitled to, “students who are facing hostile environments, who are afraid to go to class, who are unable to take advantage of the well-resourced and renowned school district in Southlake, Texas.”

Ingram said the complaint chronicles a specific instance where an individual was repeatedly called the ‘N word.’

“We actually have a complainant who was ultimately sort of forced to withdraw from the district following frequent, severe racial harassment,” he said.

In a statement, the NAACP LDF said its complaint was filed on behalf of two organizations, Cultural & Racial Equity for Every Dragon (CREED) and the Southlake Anti-Racism Coalition (SARC), as well as individual students and their parents. The complaint alleges that Southlake, Texas’ Carroll Independent School District (CISD) fails to ensure that students do not experience a hostile environment because of their race, sex, or gender identity.

News organizations have looked closely at instances of alleged discrimination in Carroll ISD and Southlake in recent years. Allegations that so-called Critical Race Theory was taught in the district’s predominantly white schools became a hot topic.

Ingram said, “when you have an environment that doesn't allow teachers and administrators to teach an honest and accurate education that acknowledges the role of race in America's history in present day, you do have issues that arise like the one we discuss in our complaint.”

As of Wednesday, the Carroll Independent School District said in a statement that it had not received any paperwork on the complaint, so it was unable to respond.

Got a tip? Email Reporter Bill Zeeble at . You can follow him on Twitter @bzeeble.

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Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.