The ADL (Anti-Defamation League) calls on Cypress-Fairbanks School Board Trustee Scott Henry to issue an unequivocal apology for his outrageous and reprehensible remarks falsely linking higher dropout rates to a higher percentage of Black teachers in HISD. His remarks demonstrate contempt for the capacity of diversity to improve the lives of Cy-Fair students.
“Mr. Henry chose to obfuscate the recommendations of a District-commissioned report,” said ADL Southwest Regional Director Mark B. Toubin. “Then he blamed an ‘out of state political organization,’ for his comments, claiming he was just defending the district against the organization’s ‘attack.’ Mr. Henry should apologize and work toward a better understanding of the value of diversity and its importance to the success of schools, businesses, and communities like the city of Houston.”
During a meeting where school board members were listening to a consultant’s analysis of diversity and equity in Cy-Fair Schools, Mr. Henry tried to equate higher dropout rates in the Houston Independent School District to a higher-than-average percentage of African American teachers.
A video of his remarks shows him saying:
“Cy-Fair has, what, 13 percent Black teachers? Do you know what the state-wide average is for Black teachers? Ten percent. I looked it up. The state-wide average for Black teachers is 10 percent….
Houston ISD, which I used as one example—do you know what the average number, percentage, of Black teachers is? Thirty-six percent. I looked that up. You know what their drop-out rate is? Four percent…
I don’t want to be at four percent. 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 place—the premium place—where people go to be.”
After Henry was criticized for his remarks, he claimed the Cy-Fair district was being attacked for not being diverse enough, and said he was defending the district.