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Posted under: News

Texas School Board Trustee Facing Backlash After Saying Students Are Dropping Out Because Of Black Teachers

The trustee said he has been facing death threats since making the statement.

Scott Henry, a Texas school board trustee, has been fired from his job with a software company after concluding that students are dropping out at a high rate because of Black teachers, KHOU 11 reports. Splunk, a software company based in San Francisco, announced the termination on social media on Friday.

"We viewed the employee's conduct as inconsistent with who we are as Splunkers and the individual is no longer employed by our company," the company tweeted after firing the sales engineer.

The Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District trustee made his controversial comment when he responded to a district-wide equity audit. As he questioned the need for more Black teachers, Henry tried to use the Houston Independent School District as an example, saying the district's high number of Black teachers is leading to an increase in the dropout rate.  

"The statewide average for Black teachers is 10%," he said during a school board work session. "HISD, which we’ll use as a shining example, you know what their average number or percentage of Black teachers is? 36%, I looked it up. You know what their dropout rate is? 4%. I don’t want to be at 4%, I don’t want to be HISD.”

Henry defended himself during a CFISD board meeting on Thursday, saying his statement was twisted for political reasons. Community leaders joined the NAACP and spoke up at a news conference to condemn the comments.

"What we saw the other night was the racism said out loud," Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said. "And if we allow this kind of thing in a public forum by a public official that represents a school district, what are we allowing?"

A teacher who identified herself as Ms. Hudson also denounced the trustee's theory.

"Despite the false stats that were shared, none of my students to this day have dropped out due to the fact that their teacher was Black. Instead they have thrived and are changing the world one day at a time,” the teacher said, according to KCRG. 

The trustee said he has been facing death threats since making the statement.

“Because I dared to disagree that it equates to high retention rates, there have been threats upon my life, and my wife and my children have been targeted. I will take responsibility for not saying it more eloquently,” he said.

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