Cypress Fairbanks ISD commissioner Scott Henry’s comment questions the value of Black educators and students

CYPRESS, Texas (KTRK) – Several people have expressed their concerns about how comments by a Cypress Fairbanks ISD board member would affect Black educators and students.

ABC13 attempted to contact Scott Henry, Cypress Fairbanks ISD board member after a clip from a school board meeting sparked calls for him to resign, but his only response was is a statement on a social network.

SEE RELATED STORY: CFISD trustee’s comments about Black teacher spark calls for him to resign

In the statement, Henry said his words were twisted. Meanwhile, those offended by Henry’s words are calling his comments racist. Either way, the value of Black teachers and students is now being questioned.

Henry’s comments Monday night, in a debate against an audit report on diversity and inclusion, linked higher percentages of Black educators to high dropout rates than in Houston ISD is causing strong condemnation.

“I grew up in Cy-Fair. This really makes me angry to the 10th degree,” said Odus Evbagharu, the chairman of the Harris County Democratic Party.

Evbagharu joined a growing chorus calling for Henry to step down.

“It’s important to recruit Black educators, and all this will do is damage. We have to call this out,” Evbagharu said.

A CFISD parent present at Monday’s meeting also said she was concerned about how this would affect Black educators and students.

Tara Cummings said: “We are trying to take steps forward, and here he comes and says incorrect information. Also, it is harmful to say things that are not true, racist and vile,” said Tara Cummings.

Research from Johns Hopkins University shows the impact Black educators have on Black students, and the data contradicts Henry’s observations. Exposure to a Black teacher can make Black students 13% more likely to go to college. With two Black teachers and students, the win rate is up to 32%. Having a Black teacher in an elementary school reduces the probability of a Black student dropping out by nearly a third.

Dr. James Dixon, president of NAACP Houston, said: “Black teachers, hold your heads up. All educators, hold your heads up.” “This one board member neither represents nor aptly describes your qualifications and values. We have to get this mindset out of the office.”

Henry did not answer his door or return multiple phone calls on Wednesday night. So far, the superintendent, district and other members of the board have also been silent.

Meanwhile, the community promises to continue to speak out.

“We have to do it for our children, but also for the rest of the community. We have to be allies,” Cummings said.

The school board will meet again at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. Copyright Registered. Cypress Fairbanks ISD commissioner Scott Henry’s comment questions the value of Black educators and students

Dais Johnston

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