In SummaryCity of Houston officials are among the individuals calling for a Cypress-Fairbanks ISD board member to resign following comments he made in regards to Black teachers.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is among those calling for Scott Henry, a board trustee of Texas’ Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District, to resign after he linked more Black teachers to poor performance within the system, per The Associated Press.
The comments were made in response to a presentation on the district’s equity and culture audit, which recommended the district create an equity-focused administrative office to support underrepresented student populations—a move Henry seemingly opposed.
“Cy-Fair has, what, 13% Black teachers, do you know what the statewide average is for Black teachers? Ten percent, I looked it up,” he said, per AP. “Houston ISD … you know what their average percentage of Black teachers is? Thirty-six percent. I looked that up. You know what their dropout rate is? Four percent. I don’t want to be 4%.”
Henry went on to say he doesn’t want to be Houston ISD and instead wants to be a “shining example,” setting the standard.
Mayor Turner condemned Henry’s remarks, saying in a tweet that instead of tolerating those who aim to divide, it’s critical to work together to ensure everyone has equal access to educational opportunities.
“Suggesting that having more Black teachers in a school district can create an increase in the dropout rate or a decline in classroom achievement is despicable,” he said.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo was also “appalled” and called for Henry’s resignation.
Henry stated political actors are manipulating his views for political gain, in a statement released on Twitter. He clarified that he wasn’t criticizing Black teachers but rather “refuting” assertions made by an out-of-state political group that one diversity metric determined the quality of education students receive.
“Any suggestion that I said more black teachers leads to worse student outcomes is a flat out lie,” he said, adding that he’s proud the district has exceeded in emphasizing the need of employing diverse teachers.
ABC 13 News reported while Henry has resisted calls to resign, he admits he could have chosen his words more carefully.