THROUGH AN OPEN RECORDS REQUEST it was discovered that roughly $9,000 of Southlake taxpayer money was used for CISD employees to travel to Austin to educate conference-goers about the depravity of CISD families. At the 2020 Texas Association of School Administrator (TASA) Mid-Winter Conference, Julie Thannum, CISD's Assistant Superintendent for Board and Community Relations, outlined CISD's dysfunction in her presentation entitled, "Standing at the PR Crossroad - When Privilege Meets Social Justice."
Slides from Ms. Thannum's presentation Obtained via Public Information Request
Representing Southlake to some of the 6,000 attendees, Ms. Thannum defines the district's Implicit Bias as "the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions and decisions in an involuntary, unconscious manner without one's awareness or intentional control." According to this, teachers and students have prejudice toward each other, but they are oblivious to it because it resides in their unconsciousness, and they cannot control it. This publication blurred students' images. The actual presentation Ms. Thannum used did not blur students' images.
Driving home the need to focus on one's race and physical differences, Thannum went on to define the city's grave cultural blindness as "a state in which differences are ignored and one proceeds as if differences do not exist." Thannum also informed attendees the focus of employee discussions included their "white identity" and "white fragility."
In our Nation's Capitol...
Southlake taxpayers paid over $6,000 for CISD employees to attend the National School Public Relations Association conference in Washington, D.C. July 2019. CISD Assistant Superintendent of Community and Board Relations, Julie Thannum, gave a presentation to conference goers again branding Southlake as a racist community.
In her presentation, Ms. Thannum said, "privilege is a very powerful thing and we have taken it for granted too long." She continued, "We've been focusing a lot on our employees because they are the ones in front of our kids. We've brought in trainers, we've talked about things like white identity, white supremacy, cultural awareness, cultural bias, white fragility...",
Thannum continued, "we have campus diversity councils at every campus, we hired a leadership and culture coach." This was a year before these positions were presented to the Board of Trustees for approval within the CCAP. Thannum stated, "our plan is not even called cultural proficiency on purpose because parents would get upset and then they would get attorneys. In Carroll ISD, if they tell you they're gonna get an attorney, they do."
Among many more disturbing negative comments about the Southlake community, Thannum also said, "I've been more disappointed in adults than I can even stand up and say. I was so mad at people in my district and they don't know what they don't know, and it was up to us as a district."
On Social Media...
Thannum's hostility toward the CISD community was further displayed in the Summer of 2020. District administration was focusing on implementing Critical Race Theory in K-12 instead of focusing on creating an in-person and Dragon Virtual Academy educational model in a global pandemic.
Parents began voicing very real and valid concerns about receiving little to no education for their children in the Spring of 2020. Parents were practically begging administration to provide teachers with the tools they needed. All parents were asking for is for someone to take charge and roll out a real plan like so many surrounding public and private schools did.
Thannum's response was to slap the hands of those voicing concerns about the district's failure to provide teachers and students with resources. On her personal Facebook profile, she posted a public rant referring to those concerns as "Monday morning quarterbacking" and called CISD parents, those who pay her salary, "ungrateful people."