NBC 5 recently invited school leaders, students, and parents from districts across North Texas to sit at our table and talk about race.
There would be no list of questions, no agenda, simply an opportunity to share their own opinions about some of the incidents centered around race in school in North Texas this year, and personal experiences.
We wanted to listen to each other, hear ideas and hope for the future, and just begin an ongoing conversation about topics many of us like to avoid.
The latest news from around North Texas.
"I remember going home feeling so sad and looking at boarding schools," said Alika Osadolor, student, Carroll ISD, as she talked about leaving her former school in Mexico and coming to Southlake where she felt unwelcomed.
"She was crying and shaking and said that man looks like my dad," said Anastasia Taylor, CEO of Alliance Child and Family Solutions, as she saw her biracial daughter watch news coverage of George Floyd's death.
"They came to me with three hours of incidents and experiences that happened to them," said Dr. Jeannie Stone, Superintendent, Richardson ISD, of her students who demanded change to what they and she now calls systemic racism in the school district.
Let's face it, we avoid the uncomfortable, it's so much easier to do it. Race has always been uncomfortable, it's always divided us but most times we've talked about the progress and looked to future generations as the healers.
Those young people are telling us, perhaps things are better than they were, but they still are significantly troubling and when they raise the flag for help they're increasingly feeling ignored.
"I just said what happened why don't you believe me," said Chloe King, a student in the Frisco ISD. "When I see these things happen it's like not again, but it's not shocking."
It's not just the use of that one divisive word that starts with an N. We saw students laugh and joke about trading students of color, baseball players call boys out of their names, and those who stood up for them, accused of being anti-American.
"It's just making sure everyone feels accepted, that they feel like they belong and it shouldn't be political at all but critical race theory that made it so political," said Jennifer Green Godette, Parent, Carroll ISD.
School leaders, students, and parents sat with us, and opened up. About racism in school, and the difficulty school leaders face when they try to fight it.
"It is divisive for a lot of people and a lot of people will come out against you if you talk about these issues, but if we talk about these issues nothing ever changes and I can't live with that," said Stone.
"We should be able to work to make sure they're (student) having an enjoyable experience within their school. the problem is it ruffles too many adult feathers and it makes adults uncomfortable and we're willing to stay in our comfort zone at the expense of their comfort," said Quinton Phillips, Board of Trustees, Fort Worth ISD.
We got all riled up, we yelled, and argued, filed lawsuits and kicked out elected officials but at the end of the day. Where are we? What have we done to help children who say they're attacked in school for the way they look.
"I want to be treated like an equal, I want to go out and be respected, I don't want to go out and be embarrassed about how my hair looks or my accent. I don't want a little kid to feel less because of who they are," said Osadolor.