Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy renewed his call for answers from a school district over a segregation experiment and a documentary that was shown to elementary school students depicting graphic images of dead children.
Roy demanded a response from the district for the second time Wednesday in a letter addressed to Northside Independent School District (NISD) Superintendent Brian Woods over the “racial social experiment on fifth grade students without parental consent” at Leon Springs Elementary in San Antonio, Texas, after he received no reply to his March 17 letter.
As part of the experiment, dark-haired students were labeled more privileged, while others were deemed not as intelligent, told to clean up after the other children and given games with missing pieces so they were unable to play properly, NISD parents Brandi and Mike Lininger confirmed to the DCNF.
Parents deserve answers as to why teachers “blatantly circumvented their authority” by conducting the racial experiment and showing graphic content to fifth grade children, Roy explained in his letter.
“As NISD’s Superintendent, you have an obligation to inform parents about what steps you are taking to ensure this will not happen again,” Roy wrote. “It is imperative for you to address these concerns immediately.”
Some students were also shown a documentary called “4 Little Girls,” which depicts graphic images of dead black children from the 1963 Alabama church bombing perpetrated by the Ku Klux Klan, the Liningers said.
“Our daughter, being one of the ones who had a very difficult time with this, was afraid to sleep in her own bed and had to sleep in bed with us,” Brandi said, adding that her daughter cried herself to sleep at night after seeing the film.
Roy also reminded Woods of Texas law that “prohibits educators from teaching students that ‘one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex,’ or that ‘individuals should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of the individual’s race.’”
He also asked if the “4 Little Girls” documentary is district-approved material, if parents were informed of the film’s graphic scenes, and what measures the district took to ensure this documentary or others like it are not shown in class without parental consent in the future.
“It was conversation, after conversation, after conversation with our concerns not going anywhere,” Brandi said. “Going to the media was not our first stop, we went to the district and we followed their process.”
“The one thing we pushed for was notification of the parents and that’s the one thing they refuse to do,” Mike added.
Other parents in the district have also shared their concerns with the Liningers, but won’t speak out for fear of retaliation or concern that their child will be negatively impacted, the Liningers said.
“We moved out here over a decade ago for this school,” Brandi said. “There has been such a significant decline in the quality of education and it all stems from administration … I’m still in disbelief that this actually happened.”
“We need to know that this isn’t going to happen again,” she added.
The NISD did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.