CYPRESS, Texas (KTRK) — A mother is urging Cy-Fair ISD to reinstate policies to better protect students of color from hate speech and discrimination. This comes after she said her two sons, who are Asian Americans, were targeted with racist slurs and harassment multiple times over the last year.
One of the first incidents happened in January when both of HaiAu Huynh’s sons were allegedly called racial slurs by another student on their school bus.
“They’ve been called ‘Ching Chong, Wing Wong.’ They’ve seen others pull their eyes back,” Huynh said.
On May 23, she said a different student drew a swastika on her older son’s shirt at McGown Elementary. Huynh explained that she requested administrators to issue a “stay away” order to keep that student away from her child, which is allowed under the Student Code of Conduct.
But six months later, she said the request has still not been granted. According to an October letter from Cy-Fair ISD to Huynh, the delay is because the incident happened at McGown Elementary, and both students who were involved are now at Sprague Middle School.
“I think my children deserve to go to school and to feel safe and to feel protected,” Huynh told ABC13.
The district did not share how the offending students were handled or disciplined, citing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which is a federal law that protects the privacy of children’s educational records.
In a statement to ABC13, a spokesperson for Cy-Fair ISD wrote, “Cypress-Fairbanks ISD (CFISD) has a system for receiving complaints at the campus level. Campus administration and the district’s school leadership team have met with the parents regarding these allegations. If an investigated complaint has an affirmative determination of inappropriate behavior, the campus assigns an appropriate discipline consequence according to the Student Code of Conduct.”
Cy-Fair’s letter to Huynh stated that administrators implemented a safety plan at Sprague to prevent her older son from being in the same class as the offending student, establish regular check-ins with the counselor and principal, and build familiarity with various adults on campus whom the student could reach out to for concerns.
The mother feels it’s not enough, prompting her to speak out at last Monday’s district board meeting.
“The district’s job is to protect all children, and it has failed miserably in that regard. My children do not feel that CFISD will keep them safe,” Huynh said during a public comment.
What Huynh ultimately wants is for something to be implemented on a systemic level to prevent future racially charged incidents to her sons and other students. She urged Cy-Fair ISD officials to reinstate multiple policies, such as the “Resolution to Condemn Racism” and “No Place for Hate,” to better support students of color from hate speech and harassment.
“I’m hoping to spark that conversation that is needed because what has happened to my children is not isolated. Since I’ve been talking about this, multiple other families here have come forward and have told me that this had happened to them,” said Huynh.
Huynh said she last met with district officials on Friday and will have to wait up to 10 business days before they reach a decision on her latest appeal.