Keller Independent School District
|Keller Independent School District|
|350 Keller Parkway, Keller, Texas, 76248
|Superintendent||Dr. Randy Reid|
|Students and staff|
The Keller Independent School District is a K-12 public school district based in Keller, Texas (USA). It serves more than 31,000 students from both Tarrant and Denton counties and operated 41 schools in the 2011-2012 school year.
Keller ISD is considered one of the most controversial and loathed school districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex due to its discrimination policies leaving out a minority group, the Gay community, including same-sex "promposals" and its sudden postponement upon its vote for LGBT policy revision, which have all occurred in 2015. Ironically, most of the board members inside the Keller school district are supporters of the Republican Party. Because of the recent incidents, the Keller Independent School District has ultimately violated Human rights and infringed the Texas Open Meetings Act upon the LGBT Protections votes, which has caused statewide attention and criticism.
- 1 Demographics
- 2 Controversies
- 3 Schools
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Keller ISD covers 51 square miles (130 km2) in northeast Tarrant County in cities such as Keller, Fort Worth, Haltom City, Watauga, North Richland Hills, Hurst, Colleyville, Southlake, and Westlake. This is a fast-growing area, with about 2,800 new homes being built in the district every year, and enrollment is rising more than 2,000 students annually.
2015: The Gay community
In March 2015, a senior student by the name of Casey Akers who attended Timber Creek High School, was attempting to "prompose" to her girlfriend, however she was halted by the school administrators and Akers immediately perceived it as discrimination, because of her being gay. After the unfortunate actions, Akers made an statement: "I gave them all the details before. They say it’s fine. They find out who I am asking, then say it’s not fine,". Within a private conversation on Direct Message via Twitter, a friend of hers screen shot the conversation and posted it publicly, the hash-tag campaign "#LetCaseyPromposal" acquired international attention.
In midst of the situation however, a school official made a self-defensive statement: "In response to recent social media posts regarding “promposals” at our high school campuses, Keller ISD does not grant permission for any student, regardless of gender, to conduct public prom invitations, or promposals, on campus during the school day. Any previous promposals that have occurred have done so without District approval. Promposals, and other similar public displays, may create a disruption to the academic setting, therefore they are not allowed for any student." Despite the actions of the administrators, Akers was able to attend prom with her friend.
The incident inspired Senior student Emily Hobert, also a LGBT student that attends Keller High School slammed at Keller ISD, due to the district's discrimination policy did not include language specifically protecting students' Sexual orientation, she stated; "This incident really inspired me to get politically involved in what's going on in our community, and make it against policy to be allowed to do that," she also stated; "The [promposal] is just the catalyst of all this -- this is just a small example of the discrimination that the students face every single day by other students and by faculty and by the district by not including them in this policy,"
In the light of the events however, Keller ISD Board Members were considering policy protections for LGBT students.
On August 13, 2015, it was announced that Keller ISD postponed its vote LGBT policy revision during a meeting where over 200 civilians attended. Walter Vaughn, one of the officials of the school district made a comment; "Enforce what is already there" "it's part of life. Children are going to bully each other. And the only thing we can do as parents is try to teach them."
Violations of Texas Open Meetings Act regarding the LGBT Protections votings
On September 3, 2015, it was discovered that when the Keller ISD Board members agreed to postpone votes for LGBT protections, they met in secretion ultimately breaking the Texas Open Meetings Act. Before the meeting on 13 August, the Keller ISD Superintendent Randy Reid transmitted a group text message to the entire seven trustees; Reid endorsed that that the proposal to include sexual orrientation and gender identity to anti-bullying and nondiscrimination policies to be cut off from the plans. Five trustees have responded, with three of them desired to acceded with Reid's decision, while two disputed with Reid.
The clandestine group text message from the school board members  was recovered by London-based newspaper publisher The Observer via the Texas Public Information Act request and immediately constituted a illegal affair of the board, according to Wanda Garner Cash, a University of Texas at Austin journalist professor and former exec. director of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. The act prohibits a quorum of a governmental body from discussing public business in hiding.
In response to the cowardice and actions of the school board members, Cash slammed Keller ISD with an response with “This is really squirrelly,” Government by text message? I don’t think so. When you get a group text message, that’s pretty overt and tangible that somebody’s trying to subvert the transparency intended by the state’s open meetings law.” Amanda Bigbee, Keller ISD's general counsel defended herself in private on email “There were no deliberations of government business or policy,” The notification was regarding the agenda — not the merits of the items on the agenda. You will see that Dr. Reid was clear with the trustees that he was not trying to elicit votes or responses but simply notifying them of the decision he had made.”.
On the message, Reid informed that he delivered an email endorsing that the vote be canceled, and asked them to read it and “confirm” so he could announce the decision to the general public. Kelley Shannon, an executive director of the Freedom of Information Foundation, said the board’s conversation went beyond setting the agenda. She also said because the agenda was already posted, it shouldn’t have been changed until the meeting. “The board is not supposed to be having a group discussion like that about public business outside of public view. Just because technology is out there doesn’t mean you can just bypass the Open Meetings Act.” Violations of the act are taken as misdemeanors, punishable up to six months in jail. However, the prosecutions are rare, according to Joel White, an Austin lawyer who specializes in open government.
High schools (grades 9-12)
- Central High School, Fort Worth (est. 2003)
- Fossil Ridge High School, Fort Worth (est. 1994) (dedicated in 1995) (expanded in 1997)
- Keller High School, Keller
- Timber Creek High School, Fort Worth (est. 2009)
- Keller Learning Center, Keller
Middle schools (7-8)
- Fossil Hill Middle School, Fort Worth (est. 1987) (exp. 2001)
- Hillwood Middle School, Fort Worth
- Keller Middle School, Keller
- Indian Springs Middle School, Keller
- Trinity Springs Middle School, Fort Worth
- Timberview Middle School, Fort Worth (est. 2010)
Intermediate schools (5-6)
- Bear Creek Intermediate School, Keller
- Chisholm Trail Intermediate School, Fort Worth (est. 1990) (exp. 2013)
- Parkwood Hill Intermediate School, Fort Worth (est. 2004)
- South Keller Intermediate School, Keller
- Trinity Meadows Intermediate School, Fort Worth
- Timberview Middle School, Fort Worth (est. 2010)
Elementary Schools (K-4)
- "KISD Fast Facts" (PDF). Kellerisd.net. Keller ISD. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
- "Construction fuels big gains in Alliance Corridor" by Adrienne Nettles, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, May 16, 2006
- "After "Promposal" Request Denial, Student Fights To Change Discrimination Policy". CVS 11 DFW (CBS KDFW). 23 April 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
- Castro, Bianca (13 August 2015). "Student Claims School Denied Her Lesbian Promposal Plan". NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth (NBC 5 DFW). NBC 5 DFW. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
- Robertson, Sebastian (23 April 2015). "Keller ISD student takes issue with lack of LGBT policy". WFAA (WFAA). WFAA. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
- ENGELLAND, Sandra (2 August 2015). "Keller school board to consider policy protections for LGBT students, staff". Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Fort Worth Star-Telegram). Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
- Unger, Tood (13 August 2015). "Keller ISD postpones vote on LGBT policy revision". WFAA (WFAA). WFAA. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
- Wright, John (3 September 2015). "Keller School Board Met Illegally Ahead of LGBT Protections Vote, Experts Say". Texas Observer (307 W 7th Street Austin, Texas 78701: Texas Observer). Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- Wright, John. "Keller ISD Texts". scribd.com. Observer.com. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
- Blue Ribbon Schools Program, Schools Recognized 1982-1983 Through 1999-2002 (PDF)
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