Grapevine-Colleyville ISD: New rules at school board meetings

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Amid racial tensions, new decorum rules were passed last month to prevent signs, clothing used as signage and verbal attacks on board members.

GRAPEVINE, Texas – Parents and students strangely found themselves changing, covering or flipping their t-shirts on Monday night during a Grapevine-Colleyville ISD board meeting to defend a beloved high school principal.

The chaos is attributed to new school board decorum rules adopted in August after meetings started to spiral out of control when the community rushed to defend Dr James Whitfield.

On August 30, Whitfield, the principal of Colleyville Heritage High School, was placed on administrative leave by the district.

Whitfield told the WFAA he was not explicitly told why the district had put him on the chopping block.

RELATED: Students Walk Out To Support Colleyville Heritage HS Director Sidelined Amid Critical Complaints Over Race Theory

But on Monday night, at the controversial board meeting filled with supporters of Whitfield, a district official revealed for the first time why Whitfield was ready for his contract non-renewal.

The manager gave a long list of reasons, including performance issues, insubordination with superiors and Whitfield’s inability to set and implement high expectations for all staff and students.

In addition, the official also said Whitfield lacked sighting reports, assessments and lacked communication skills and situational awareness.

The manager also listed one instance where Whitfield did not report misconduct among staff.

The board of directors voted to go ahead with the termination of Whitfield. He now has the opportunity to appeal this decision and have a hearing.

RELATED: ‘Don’t Southlake my Grapevine’: Parents, Students Support Struggling Principal After District Contract Not Renewed

After this hearing, the board must then proceed to a new vote on the termination of Whitfield.

Despite the reasons given on Monday night, an overwhelming number of parents and students said the district was moving to Whitfield because a losing council candidate accused it of supporting critical race theory.

The district strongly denies this belief.

“Because of his extreme views, I am asking that a full review of Mr. Whitfield’s tenure in our district be considered and his contract terminated with immediate effect,” said Stetson Clark, who lost a recent election.

Since Clark’s remarks, parents and students have expressed support for Whitfield at board meetings. Tensions increased and board members adopted new rules of decorum for meetings.

Placards, clothing used as placards and verbal attacks on council members during public comments will no longer be tolerated in council offices.

Those rules were in the foreground Monday night when members of the Next Generation Action Network, a Dallas-based activist group, showed up in support of Whitfield.

Members of the group wore their shirts, which contained no profanity or obscenity, and were not allowed into the rooms because of their sons.

Nichole Mansfield is one of those members. She was informed by security that the group’s logo could not be displayed.

“I felt like we were being targeted,” Mansfield said. “If we wanted to come in, we had to either turn our shirts over or change our shirts. ”

Mansfield and others questioned security guards heavily and pointed out that other members of the public with logos on their shirts were allowed in without complaint.

In fact, the WFAA saw no application of the new rule until NGAN showed up.

After this conversation, the district operations manager walked around the meeting and asked whoever wrote on his shirt to cover it or turn it over.

Not to mention, a day after the district released the new rules on August 22, a member of “Moms For Liberty,” a right-wing militant group, can be seen online speaking to board members wearing his shirt, which is not covered.

“It was racist. Let’s call it that,” Mansfield said. “If one thing applies to a group, it should apply to everyone.”

GCISD sent WFAA the following statement regarding this story:

“On August 22, 2021, GCISD published its Board Decorum Rules in response to public disruption and a general lack of decorum at recent GCISD Board meetings that have hampered the smooth running of the meeting. one of those protocols reads: “Clothing used as signage is also not permitted during the board meeting. People will be asked to remove, cover or return clothing or they will not be allowed to enter the meeting; however, these clothes may be worn in the parking lot or in the foyer area of ​​the administrative building. This is in addition to the signs that are not allowed at the board meeting.

During the August regular council meeting and the September special council meeting, participants were briefed on council decorum protocols related to clothing as signage and asked to remove, cover or remove return their shirt. In response to the frustrations expressed by several participants at the September 20 meeting, anyone present who wore a shirt with writing was asked to remove, cover or return their clothing, including those wearing shirts with the district logo and a declaration of value.

The District continually reviews and strives to improve its protocols. Any change or modification of the rules of decorum of the Board of Directors will be communicated before the regular meeting of the Board of Directors on September 27. “



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