A member of the Galveston Independent School District board of trustees is urging the board to pass a resolution declaring the district a diverse one.

Toward the end of a board meeting Wednesday, Vice President Jeff Temple read a prepared statement during the board comments section of the meeting.

“In this time of fear and confusion across our state and nation, I want to ask that the board join our fellow Texas public school districts in Houston, San Antonio and Austin in delivering a resolution reaffirming that Galveston ISD is a district of inclusivity and diversity that provides a safe and supportive education for all,” he said.

Temple’s statement comes after more than 200 people earlier this month packed the Galveston Islamic Center for Galveston Mayor Jim Yarbrough to sign a resolution to recognize “Galveston Welcoming City Day.”

President Donald Trump in January signed an executive order temporarily banning travel from seven majority-Muslim countries and halting the entrance of all refugees for 120 days. A federal judge lifted the ban and a federal appeals court affirmed the judge’s action.

There are reports in several states that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement is conducting raids and deporting people living illegally in the country.

Trump has since promised to deliver a revised travel ban.

“Our schools are our community’s anchors,” Temple said. “We provide a safe, supportive environment for all students, regardless of their background, their ability, their race or ethnicity, their status, their socioeconomic class, their sexuality or their gender identity.”

Temple said he would be reaching out to members of the community and fellow trustees over the next month to draft a resolution proclaiming the school district an inclusive and accepting one.

Community members and teachers at San Antonio ISD and elsewhere across the state have worked to pass similar resolutions, supporting students threatened by potential deportation.

As Temple’s prepared statement was read during the board comment portion of the meeting, there was no discussion or reaction to the potential resolution.

Contact reporter Matthew deGrood at 409-683-5230 or matthew.degrood@galvnews.com

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(39) comments

PD Hyatt

After reading the letter to the board makes me know that homeschooling is the only option if you want your children to know the difference between right and wrong and to have good strong morals.... The public school system is shot and beyond repair....

Don Ciaccio

Jeff Temple's statement comes as no surprise to me. Jeff is a liberal Democrat. Shocking: Everyone that lives in Galveston already knows we are a diverse community and have always been a diverse community. Jeff is doing nothing more than grandstanding and being your typical liberal democrat, still butthurt after Donald Trump became his president.

David Schuler

Once again - just like the Mayor's nonsense resolution - what is the action? What changes does Jeff recommend? If none, ignore it and move on. The GISD board has far more important actionable agenda items to consider.

Don Ciaccio

Amen David! Jeff should be focused on the many serious issues facing our district. His whining is only serving to distract from the real issues he was elected to tackle.

Gary Scoggin

So, I get that you guys are opposed to this. What I don't understand is why.

Jack Cross

Gary, here is why, The GISD or any school district has no choice they have to be inclusive, they have to admit illegal aliens. And Gary, these non citizens have more rights than American citizens, School districts can't even ask them questions about their nationality or legal status. Gary, you are aware of a school funding crisis so pleas tell me how many billions this is costing school districts across America, Gary, why doesn't the GDN, the state of the government hide these costs. Gary, how much is this driving down standards, did you know that the government needs 79,000 bi lingual teachers. Did you know our schools are being over run with undocumented students. Texas City has 42 percent Hispanic and growing, the white school population are in the minority. Texas City 23 percent and cities like Houston 7 percent white. Gary, WE ARE INCLUSIVE. and we have a problem. I don't know if you have figured this out but this is no more than a slap and Trump who is doing no more than carrying out his promise that the people elected him to do.

Gary Scoggin

Jack, a few questions:
1. Are all 42% of the Hispanic students in Texas City undocumented and in need of bilingual education? If not, what percentage is?
2. How do illegal aliens avoid paying sales tax and property taxes? (I assume if they are renting, the landlord is paying taxes. If not, we've got a different problem.) Since most of the funding for schools in Texas comes from these two sources, exactly how are these people not paying their share?
3. Regarding the facts that Whites are a minority in many school districts. Why is this a problem and what do your propose for a solution?
4. Was Trump elected to cause more divisions and to make us a less cohesive society? Is that what you were implying by your last statement? (Silly me, I thought the election was mainly about jobs and national security.)

Just trying to get the full context of your comments, Jack.

Jack Cross

Gary, if you read my post, you would know that school districts don't know who is illegal, they can't ask. What we do know is the Hispanic numbers are rapidly increasing. We know the very high numbers at poverty level only because they apply for free lunch. I bet you didn not know that a bunch of these kids are classified
as homeless. About a year ago I met with the TCISD superintendent and she gave me the ethnic numbers that included homeless, I said what ? She said kids are living together with other families. Since the GDN is not interested in reporting on this, the state tells UTMB and every public hospital to insure these people, they calle it sponsored patients and don't seperate the costs or the numbers, and tell schools you can not ask immigration status, and be on the safe side and even educate those who illegally overstay their visa, even though they are not eligible for education.
Gary, people work all their lives pay taxes plus medicare and social security only to see refugees who never paid a dime immediately get the full welfare package.
Gary, it is not about being inclusive, it is about we are being over run, we are adding to the national debt, not enough funding for schools, medicare is scheduled to go broke down the road. The white race around the world has birth rates in check, in fact there is a slight reduction, The people we are bringing in birth rates are exploding. That should be the emphasis, birth control in their own countries because
the western countries could never take in all in need, we can only weaken ourselves and our ability to help feed the world and provide charity.

Paula Flinn

There is one ESL teacher at the high school and 2 bi-lingual teacher's aides. We have plenty of football coaches, though! All BHS teachers are ESL certified. GISD is not overrun by students. There is plenty of room. More students = more teachers. There are students of all colors, all religions, and from all walks-of-life in GISD schools. Some students have written essays about how attending this public, inclusive high school has prepared them for living, studying, and working with different people in college and in the "real" world.

There are plenty of bi-lingual students, who know both Spanish and English, and they are willing to translate for their friends in class. It bring people together when there is a new student in the class. Did you ever think of that? GISD has students from many countries, not just Mexico and Central America. It is not a perfect world, but if you take away the diversity, you ruin a positive characteristic of the schools. It is not a perfect world, so everything is not perfect, but it is a positive thing to cultivate that students in GISD are so accepting of different people and their cultures.

Standards are not being"driven down" as there are several paths to graduation, and there are regular classes as well as Pre-AP and AP (Advanced Placement) classes. Professionals, such as doctors and lawyers send their children to GISD schools where they are challenged to do their best and compete for scholarships. All students have something to offer the school. GISD welcomes all students. Most want to learn and have a good education so that they can become good citizens, work hard, earn good wages, and have homes of their own they can eventually raise their own children. This is the American Dream.

If President Trump continues his deportation policy, it will worry some of the students. This will be a worry that will drive them underground, and they may not attend school. That would be the tragedy, if that happened.

Clinton Stevens

It seems the school board's time would be better served improving the quality of education in Galveston school's so that citizens don't have to place their children in private school or move off the island. The same could be said for safety since we are on the subject. I would wager that GISD far outpaces any other Galveston County ISD in the number of incidents involving violence, drugs or sex crimes.

Don Ciaccio

Clint, very well said! Touché. Jeff rather burn up valuable time making a political statement than working for the children he was elected to serve and support. Its beyond sickening.

Steve Fouga

In my view, a statement of inclusion never hurts anything. There's literally nothing wrong with it. I can't see that it does much good either, in a city like Galveston that everyone knows is diverse.

Saying it's a waste of time doesn't make much sense, because the statement is already drafted, and a vote could go quickly. To me this is like spending time on things like naming the State Pie -- a non-issue. I say don't hold a parade about it, and don't be butthurt about it.

Jack Cross

I left out of my reply to Gary, that the law requires to admit non citizens, when they get free lunches, this is a pass for the entire family to get the welfare package. Larry Taylor told me he was shocked to find out that 66 percent of Texas public school children are at poverty level. I don't know if thare is cheating, but never the less, this is a huge costs and when you load school districts down with students from poor families standards go down and families leave these districts. All you have to do is look no further than Friendswood and League City. South Galveston County is more inclusive, these are just the facts.

David Shumate

It seems as though those of you who are denouncing this action aren't really that aware of what's happening in our schools. There are many kids who are afraid. Undocumented or documented, Muslim or Christian, no child should have to live in fear every day because the leader of our country is leveraging threats against them and their families. I applaud Dr. Temple in this effort. I echo Steve's sentiments that this doesn't hurt anything. This takes literally no time, money, or effort from the district. What this does do, however, is let our children know it's ok--they'll be ok here and there are people on their side. I don't think that's ever a bad thing. I have one child currently enrolled in GISD and one who will be in a couple of years. This statement of inclusion makes me feel better about the district.
-Christie

David Alquest

I read the same comments from the same far right commentators criticizing a school trustee for announcing that our schools should be inclusive. I congratulate the trustee for making parents and children feel save in the school environment. What could be wrong with that? It is not grandstanding or a liberal point of view; it is a human one and needs to be said in front of narrowed minded bullies.

Paula Flinn

Amen! Most of these people have not been in a Galveston ISD school (or any ISD school) in a long time. They do not have the faintest idea of who, what, or how anything is taught and learned there. There are mentoring programs in GISD schools. I suggest that you volunteer to be a mentor or aide in the public schools before you start tearing down that which you do not know. BTW, every teacher in GISD had ESL certification by the end of the last school year, so any teacher is able to include students from other countries in their classes. Before you comment, you should have some knowledge of the subject.

Gary Scoggin

I don't consider myself either a liberal or a democrate but I am inclusive. Of course to some people, those who believe something different are either non-Christians, liberals, democrats, socialists, or just plain stupid. (Or that there is no difference between any of those things.)

Jack Cross

Gary, are you interested in the costs? Are you interested why these costs and the health care costs are hid while American citizens have to provide this information?
Before we open our hearts knowing that anyone can come here illigially, or legally on a visa and have free babies who then can be admitted to schools and this anchors the family, shouldn't we demand that schools an hospitals provide these numbers and the American people given the costs? how is that racist? Doesn't that make common sense. Besides. this whole argument about inclusive that is going on across the country is really about Trump

Diane Brodie

The worry with this kind of statement is that the next steps will be sanctuary policies and transgender bathroom rules. If students in GISD schools are afraid of something, then specific issues should be addressed, like bullying. A vague statement of inclusion to won't solve any problems.

Tim Thompson

Lol, well at least there's a LITTLE more diversity in the blog comments as compared to the usual right-wing, Fox News/Limbaugh types who dominate these forums! I've always wondered why the liberal wing (of which I'm a member) don't seem to comment as much on the sorts of headlines.

PD Hyatt

The school boards of our county, state and nation are more worried about including everyone that has an ache or a pain, then they are about giving our children a REAL education that they can use in college and or getting a job when they get out of high school.... I have seen to many who can not read well nor can they do simple math in their heads nor do they know how to make change unless a computer tells them how much to give back.... Public education has gone to the dogs and statements like was made at the GISD board is proof that the board is more worried about inclusion than they are about education....

Gary Scoggin

If that were true, which it is not, then the fault lies with the voters who elect these school boards. If conservatives are a true majority, which many on the right claim, why do they elect these folks? Perhaps it's because most school boards are comprised of caring people who give their time for the benefit of the community. I know a lot of school board members in different districts around here and never once have I seen them get together in a cabal to determine how to best undermine America. If kids can't read or write after getting out of school, blame the parents, not the Boards.

Paula Flinn

i agree.

PD Hyatt

You are so right as to say that the boards have no accountability in this.... Yes, parents are not doing what they should be doing and schools can not control the children but yet we have to be all inclusive and gather all around singing kumba ya.... I see so many of recent graduates from our so called great public school system that do not know how to talk English much less how to do any type of decent math.... It is so sad what our nations public school system has fallen to....

David Schuler

My issue is that the resolution is simply not actionable. Nothing is done, nothing is changed, it only makes certain people 'feel better'. That is a distraction from the real work that needs to be accomplished. Look how much energy has been wasted so far! Make some real changes, attain some measurable goals, then celebrate with a meaningful resolution.

Jack Cross

[wink] Right, David, it is no different than bullying and posts that kids make on facebook, there is too much attention on diversity and multi culturist where it should be on unity, patritoism and the fact that we are all Americans and put all this PC diversity and multi culturist stuff in the garbage can.

Gary Scoggin

The discussion I've been reading here is about anything but unity, patriotism and the fact that we are all Americans.

George Croix

".....the fault lies with the voters who elect these school boards."
That's a fact...IF the candidate presents him/herself as they really are the first time...
Then, there's identity politics, wherein the voters block vote to elect somebody they identify with whether that person is worth poop or not.....
There's two situations that can...can... put a crimp in the outcome of an election and resulting term in office....
But, it's all opinion, to be up to the reader to decide...
OR simply use the 'blame the news channel' dodge....that's a real winner.....

Gary Scoggin

Maybe you should get to know the candidates better. Most of the former or current school board members I know I knew before they ever ran for office. And they didn't change a bit. Being on a school board isn't such a glamorous and highly paid job that it causes people to forget their values. In fact it's a pain in the rear, unpaid job that people do out of trying to contribute to their community. Trust me, not every district is like LMISD.

I once had a boss in senior leadership tell me, "We're not stupid. This stuff isn't as easy as it looks." (I did clean up his language.). The pint is that running a school district or other governmental body is the same way. It's easy for us on the outside to throw rocks and impune their motives when in actuality we don't fully understand the challenge.

George Croix

ps: To my friend Gary......
Texas spends somewhere close to 9 grand a year per student on average...some sources have that number higher or lower by about 500 bucks, but 9,000 is about middle....and the average does not take into account whether it's a citizen or legal resident legal student or an illegal alien one...just One Student.....
So, you tell me....do ya figure those illegal alien sales and property taxes add up to 9000 bucks a year to cover EACH of their kids schooling...?
No fair saying industry and business pick up the slack just like for legal residents, because the illegals are NOT just like legal residents and citizens.....they are not supposed to be here, so any of that slack picked up and used for them is money that would and should be going to legal residents and citizens....which anyone thinking about might just have a bit to do with Texas schools funding issues....
Illegals pay sales taxes? Sure...absolutely...but just on sales taxes alone in this area at 8 1/4% sales tax an illegal would have to spend over 100 grand on taxable items to pay anywhere near that much in taxes....for EACH illegal alien student.....
How about multi-family habitation...is that a factor in property tax revenues, where they are based on value of the property, not the number of occupants, yet ALL the kiddies must be schooled...???
Don't forget to allow for the fact that we have to supply second language teachers, as just one extra cost, to a disproportionate number of illegal aliens, which skews the average cost per student by subtracting what could be used for students having no such need....
So, might want to think again on that tired and highly suspect dodge about 'illegals pay taxes, too'.....
It boils down to pretty much just like when some backyard BBQ invitees show up with a small pack of cheap paper plates or a single bag of chips while the others being drinks, potato salad, and meat....yet guess who chows down just as much or more.......

Jack Cross

George, did you know when they estimate the number of people who are in the country illegally, this does not include the millions of kids born here, The parents may be illegal but the kids are not counted because they are American citizens.

Gary Scoggin

If I liked the guy showing up at the BBQ and the paper plates and chips were all he could afford, that would be okay with me. If I didn't like the guy he could bring a tenderloin a case of beer and it wouldn't matter. The question is do people not want them at the BBQ because they don't like them or they can't afford the good stuff?

George Croix

Your example allows you to personalize the party pooper, and in so doing just act like other people objecting are less morale or nice, while mine simply looks at a value added basis while consuming the same or more.
The power company and the text book suppliers don't take nice and good intentions for payment...just full value cash......
[wink]

Gary Scoggin

Perhaps I personalize the party pooper because the party pooper is a person. Staying away from the fact that real people and real lives are involved makes it much easier to turn this into a conversation solely about money. Which I won't do.

Jack Cross

Some of the poorest schools districts in America is located along the Texas Border.....Hello Robin Hood, this is costing GSISD and TCISD about $28 million a year. This is equal to 25 percent of every tax dollar received. Why would voters vote to increase their taxes knowing that this much local tax money is being sent to other school districts. Houston ISD last year sent $165 million of local tax dollars to poorer school districts. Houston ISD has 70 percent of the student population receiving free or reduces school lunches. Plano has sent $1.2 Bil and Austin ISD $2.1 bil.
People have seen their appraisals going through the roof and we have this never ending fight over school funding and Robin Hood. Don't you think that the American people who are seeing their taxes rise at the very least deserve to know how much
of this is being caused by our lax open borders. just look at what is going on with Americans going to war with each other over Trump building a wall. The void on any
factual date on the numbers or the costs of illegals and babies born to illegals who them selves are citizens is costing American taxpayers. It's crazy, here we are fighting over a real problem and no one can produce any real evidence.
But the Billions each year that goes into Robin Hood should give you a clue.

David Schuler

This has gotten waaaay off topic, and that's too bad. This is about a resolution that was put forward at the School Board meeting. I feel like most of the people writing here believe that Galveston is diverse already. Not sure? Watch the high school bands in the Mardi Gras parade - lately this has changed a bit, but when i arrived back here in 2000, the Ball High band was the only one with diversity - most all others were monochromatic (to put it nicely). So my reaction to these kinds of resolutions is that they are 'old news', or to use a more recent term - 'fake news'. And the problem is - passing resolutions such as these don't actually do anything, but rather make people believe they have done something. Misleading and takes away from the real problems that need to be solved. And how does Patriotism and American ideals fit here? Easy, Americans don't just talk, they get things done. Or used to.

George Croix

ps:
I can monetarily afford to have a thief steal all my tools out of the garage.
That does not mean I have to, or should, like or excuse the criminal......
And it does not mean your neighbor should have to help pay to buy you new tools, either.....[whistling]

George Croix

The topic was about being inclusive? Come one come all, and welcome.
Some of us are simply expanding on some non-feel good while accomplishing nothing aspects that can...can...possibly....come along with a quest for diversity when what is sorely needed is unity.....
The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive but too often end up that way...

George Croix

That's great, Gary...just asking, though, what do you suppose the Texas school finance situation is all about, if not money...and why it's a problem.....??
Last I heard, paying bills is all about finances, not 'social justice'.....

Concern for all is fine...but it's not much of a win when everybody in the lifeboat ends up equally dead...

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