Posted on June 17, 2016

Controversy over DeSoto ISD Trustee’s Call to Hire ‘White Teachers’

Demond Fernandez, WFAA, June 15, 2016

A school board member’s call to hire more “white teachers” is causing some concern in DeSoto ISD.

Trustee Jerry Hall made the public push, urging staff to hire more white teachers, during the School Board meeting on May 23.

“We need to hire more white administrators and white teachers,” Hall told staff.

Some residents and DeSoto ISD staffers are buzzing about the controversial hiring call.

“Honestly, I was embarrassed,” said former School Board Trustee Vandous Stripling, who was serving his last meeting as an elected School Board member that evening. “I was embarrassed and very disappointed.”

The statement last month came during a conversation about funding for magnet programs. Critics of the comment say it is not the first time a couple of board members have publicly pushed for race-based hiring.

“We have to be honest about who we are. We are a 78.2 percent African-American student body school district,” Stripling said. “We hire those teachers who apply. If white teachers don’t apply, we can’t hire them.”

According to DeSoto ISD workers, the staff is 21 percent white, nine percent Hispanic, and about 67 percent black.