CFISD trustee's comment over Black teachers sparks calls for his resignation

Pooja Lodhia Image
Thursday, January 13, 2022
CFISD trustee's comment over Black teachers sparks debate
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A newly elected Cy-Fair ISD trustee is defending himself after a clip from a school board work session went viral, sparking calls for his resignation.

CYPRESS, Texas (KTRK) -- A newly elected Cy-Fair ISD trustee is defending himself after a clip from a Jan. 10 school board work session has gone viral, sparking calls for him to resign.

In the video, board member Scott Henry linked Black teachers to poor school performance, but now said his words were "twisted."

"Houston ISD, which I'll use to shine an example, you know what their average percentage of Black teachers is? 36%. I looked that up. You know what their dropout rate is? 4%. I don't want to be 4%. I don't want to be HISD. I want to be a shining example. I want to be the district standard. I want to be the premium place where people go to be," he said.

Henry was talking about a new report, commissioned by the district, that shows disparities between how white students and minority students are treated, and recommends hiring an equity administrator.

"It's on y'all, quite frankly, this heap of junk we paid for," Henry said. "The community elected us because of one thing - they saw that there was a problem."

This is Henry's first political office. He and two other new trustees beat incumbents in November, while proudly running on a platform of erasing critical race theory in schools.

Cy-Fair ISD is the state's third largest school district. Now, prominent elected officials, including Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, are calling on Henry to resign.

"He needs to resign and he needs to be removed by any means necessary," said Odus Eybagharu, the chair of the Harris County Democratic Party and a Cy-Fair ISD graduate. "So, that way these young students can get the equitable education they are desiring."

"I was shocked that he came out and said it. So much so that I thought maybe I had misunderstood him," said parent Tara Cummings, who attended Monday's board meeting. "It's harmful to say those kinds of things that are not true, that are racist, that are vile."

Henry has not responded to our multiple messages, but released a statement on his social media pages.

In part, his statement read, "Any suggestion that I said more Black teachers leads to worse student outcomes is a flat out lie and those spreading that lie should be ashamed of themselves. I am proud that our school district has placed an emphasis on hiring diverse teachers and that we exceed in doing so."

Henry is expected to attend the district's next board meeting, which is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 13.

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