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Southlake parents, students, and community leaders to meet about federal investigations involving Carroll ISD

Carroll ISD faces seven active investigations from the U.S. Department of Education. Five of them involve sex and race discrimination allegations.

SOUTHLAKE, Texas — A community info session regarding several active federal investigations facing Carroll ISD is scheduled for Wednesday night. 

The session is from 5 pm to 6:30 pm at the MARQ Southlake, a community center at 285 Shady Oaks Drive. 

Per a flyer, the session will involve students, parents, families, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and several other community leaders. 

The flyer reads that the session will discuss why the U.S. Department of Education is investigating Carroll ISD, and what that investigation might mean for the district and its students upon its completion.

Carroll already faces seven open investigations by the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, including three based on race, two for disability issues and two based on gender or sexual harassment.

Carroll ISD's school board voted in late July on three policies surrounding LGBTQ students in the district.

A Policy Review Committee had been reviewing the district's code of conduct and handbook. One of the district changes removed specific protections against bullying and harassment for LGBTQ students.

The policy listed in the district's online agenda shows "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" crossed out repeatedly, including in anti-harassment and bullying policies that also list race, religion, and disability.

The board also approved policies already passed in Keller ISD and Grapevine-Colleyville ISD requiring students to use the bathroom of their biological sex, and another telling students and staff not to encourage the use of pronouns other than those that match a person's gender at birth.

Formally, the policy allows teachers and staff the ability to refuse to address a student by a preferred pronoun. Board members mentioned, however, that the policy doesn't prohibit teachers from using a preferred pronoun themselves, as it's merely their choice to do so. 

Board members also said accommodations may be made to students if they want to use a gender-neutral bathroom. 

"We felt like it was pertinent prior to school starting to clarify where this board stands in terms of ensuring the protections of our teacher's first amendment rights on pronoun use and the board's position maintaining separate restrooms," Carroll ISD school board President Cameron Bryan said when as the district's most recent policy additions were approved in July.

District voters have overwhelmingly and repeatedly elected trustees running as conservatives and targeting issues of both race and sexual orientation in recent elections.

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