Recently the Davis School District has come under fire for what is being portrayed as rampant, systemic racism in its schools.
No one is defending Davis School District leadership. The district has historically been poorly run, and notoriously unresponsive to parental concerns and rights. But the nature of the DOJ’s investigation and the unclear origin of the complaints should give Utah citizens serious pause.
The Department of Justice’s report on racial incidents in Davis School District gives no hard numbers as to how many teachers or students accused of the alleged misbehavior were interviewed, disciplined, or given due process in any way. The methods they used to corroborate the allegations are subject to serious questioning since that part of the process isn’t transparent in their findings.
The report gives the number of incidents at upwards of 200 but it doesn’t tell you the number of complainants involved. All we know for a fact is that there have been people on the record at the Utah State board of Education meetings claiming that they have orchestrated efforts to get complaints to the DOJ.
The DOJ’s selective narrative shows the deliberate blurring the lines between systemic racism and incidental bigotry or insensitivity. Systemic doesn’t mean it occurs within a system. Systemic means it occurs BECAUSE of the system–the system itself directs, endorses, sustains it. The DOJ stretches to prove the case for this – in fact, its own report admits it doesn’t find evidence of systemic racism, but instead finds that Davis School District experienced “systemic failures” to address what they classified as racist incidents. This is a distinction with a huge difference.
And now thanks to what is possibly a coordinated complaint effort by some in the district, no school in Utah is safe from the Department of Justice’s overreach and interference in their right to local governance.
Davis School District needs to clean house, but it should start at the top. And the Federal government shouldn’t be the one holding the mop.
Why isn’t DSD leadership paying the price for the district’s malfeasance with their jobs? The district is now installing Dr. Jackie Thompson at as an assistant Superintendent, supposedly to eradicate anything that could possibly be characterized as racist from ever happening again. It’s an odd move, especially considering the bigoted and racist content of a video presented by Dr. Thompson at a Cache County high school shortly after being hired by DSD.
Here’s another interesting problem: Dr. Thompson was the Director of Educational Equity at DSD at the time more than a few of these incidents allegedly occurred. And judging by what the DOJ is saying, very little, if anything, was done by DSD leadership to address the problem adequately back then.
So Dr. Thompson drops the ball the first time around, and then gets hired back to…what? Drop the ball again?
Now the Federal government has literally installed within the DSD a new bureaucracy whose main goal is making racist witch hunts of teachers and students the top priority of the district going forward.
We’re calling it now: watch the number of alleged incidents motivated by racism to magically skyrocket.