The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

Parents Have a Right to Speak Out Against School Boards

Last August, dissatisfaction with K-12 education in the U.S. peaked at the highest level since first recorded in 1999, according to a Gallup poll. This is no secret and is demonstrated by waves of parents who have been attending their local school board meetings in order to make a change to a school system that, in their eyes, isn’t using their tax money in the right way or at all.

The minute this trend of publicly protesting the school system became more popular, extremely vocal outliers were bound to take voicing one’s opinions to a new extreme. For example, in December 2021, two fathers were arrested at an RRISD board meeting for forcing their way to a meeting that had already met its reduced pandemic-era capacity. 

While our school curriculums could be more unbiased by equally covering all subjects and regions of history, such as focusing on more international perspectives rather than a solely U.S centric approach, going to board meetings and intentionally breaking rules to “make a point” or challenging authority is not a good way to accomplish change.

One of the largest issues concerning curriculum changes in Texas is the watering down of Texas and American exceptionalism in order to introduce a more broad perspective of Texan and American culture respectively. As a result of the controversial nature of these changes, many possible alterations to the current curriculum have been postponed in order for the boards to deliberate. While approaching history through a global perspective diversifies students’ knowledge, the focus should not be shifted too far away from American and Texan history.

Another concern for parents is alleged corruption within local school districts. Last December, two RRISD trustees were called to return donations with a combined value of $31,000 from a Political Action Committee. It isn’t lunacy to recognize flaws in RRISD’s internal affairs and management or in Texas’s education legislation, but inciting change requires a careful balance between making your voice heard and civility.

Perhaps the biggest issue that encapsulates what parents are concerned about is politics. Be it shady donations or controversial curriculum changes, politics are a big driver in many of the problems with the public education system. While schools should teach about politics and encourage voter participation, the districts themselves should not be involved in local politics. Last October and November, RRISD was pushing for a Voter-Approval Tax Rate Election (VATRE) tax to pass. This tax would decrease overall taxes but block a bigger tax cut from passing. While this tax is not inherently wrong, using taxpayer money to promote legislation showcases an agenda that does not benefit the education of students.

In all, parents have legitimate reasons to be angered and attend board meetings to voice their concerns but some take it too far by becoming aggressive or making ad hominem attacks against board members.

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About the Contributor
Gabriel Oliveira, Reporter
Class of 2026
I love socializing with new people, playing logic games like chess and crossword puzzles, and playing badminton with my crew at Badminton Club. My favorite thing about student press is that it gives me the opportunity to interact with people that I would not have the chance to otherwise, and it introduces me to people from a variety of backgrounds.

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