Normally, a small school board race might not get national attention, but the situation in the Carroll Independent School District is a little different.
Earlier this month, a school administrator told teachers to include opposing views on the holocaust as part of the class curriculum, the district has since backed off that position. Meanwhile, the NBC News podcast, Southlake, which chronicles issues over racism in schools, puts a spotlight on the city and the district.
Two candidates, Stephanie Williams and Andrew Yeager, are vying to fill a vacancy on the board that will be up for election again next year.
Stephanie Williams believes she is the best candidate and hoped to bring her experience as a classroom teacher to the school board.
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“I have a master's degree in education and I was a classroom teacher. I taught fourth and sixth grade and I want to bring that perspective to the board," Williams said. "I also am running because we have gotten very distracted by politics and political agendas, and I want to refocus our attention on students."
In 2018, several students used a racial slur on video and other students have come forward describing discrimination.
A diversity council put together a plan for change, but legal challenges stopped it from moving forward. Williams said the best way to move forward is to have conversations about protecting students.
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“I would look to experts. I have been fortunate on my own campaign team to have people who work in the field of diversity and inclusion,” she said.
The other candidate in the race is Andrew Yeager, a sales executive for NBC Universal, NBC 5's parent company. NBC 5 asked several times for an interview, and he declined. Among his priorities are balancing the district's budget and defending the reputation of the district. He made these comments during a recent candidate debate.
“I believe it’s time that we have people on the school board that are acting not in a political manner but are taking a very common-sense approach to schooling to listening to the parents. After all, we represent the parents. We are not a conduit for students with radical ideas. We represent the parents and the taxpayers,” Yeager said.
Yeager is endorsed by the Southlake Families PAC, which says on its website it is "unapologetically rooted in Judeo Christian values.”
He spoke out against a list of demands from the Southlake Anti-Racism Coalition, which is calling for change in Carroll ISD.
“If these demands were implemented this would no longer be an excellent school district, this would be a school district that would be placing equity over excellence,” Yeager said.
Williams signed the group's demand letter.
“It did not mean that I agreed with all of their demands, but certainly I agreed with their advocating for themselves,” Williams said.
The school board term will only last until next May since the winner is filling a seat that opened earlier this year.