Updated: May 1, 2021
On Monday, April 19th, 2021, we received an email from Mandy Carleton, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent of Canyon Independent School District, that responded to numerous questions we had asked at the April 12, 2021, school board meeting. Question 2b in the meeting notes was as follows:
Does the SHAC have more parent members than school board members (as required by law)?
Before we continue, let us provide a little more information about the 'SHAC'. SHAC stands for School Health Advisory Council. It is an advisory committee every Texas school district has as required by Texas law per the Texas Education Code Sec. 28.004. LOCAL SCHOOL HEALTH ADVISORY COUNCIL AND HEALTH EDUCATION INSTRUCTION. This council assists the district in ensuring that local community values are reflected in the district's health education instruction. The beauty of TEC 28.004 and the SHAC is that it gives local control over health curriculum content. Via the SHAC, a community has the opportunity to make recommendations that reflect the values of parents, not Austin, Texas politicians, not a few in leadership positions at a school district, not a superintendent. To ensure this power stays in the hands of parents, our legislators added TEC 28.004 d which states...
"The board of trustees shall appoint at least five members to the local school health advisory council. A majority of the members must be persons who are parents of students enrolled in the district and who are not employed by the district. One of those members shall serve as chair or co-chair of the council."
In response to our April 12, 2021 question, the school replied with a document which outlined exactly which members of the SHAC were district employees and which were not. This list is also available on the CISD district website. Response 2b stated:
2020-2021 SHAC Membership includes:
■ Chris Hall, Chair- CISD employee
■ Kylie Griffitt, RN- CISD employee and parent
■ Lesley Harris- CISD employee
■ April McDaniel-CISD employee and parent
■ Dakota Milloway, LMSW- CISD employee
■ Jason Norman- CISD employee
■ Sandra Pedigo- CISD employee
■ Maribel Rivera- CISD employee and parent
■ Mike Schnitger- Chartwells director
■ Vlada Buck- parent
■ Jodi Davis- parent
■ Halley Holloway- parent
■ Jennifer Nickell- parent
From this list provided by the district, we can see that there are laws being broken by CISD.
There are 8 district employees, 4 parents, and 1 other on the current SHAC which means that the number of district employees vastly exceeds the number of parents. This is breaking Texas law. TEC 28.004 d states that "A majority of the members must be persons who are parents of students enrolled in the district and who are not employed by the district."
The current SHAC Chair is listed as Chris Hall. The council Chair position (with no co-chair listed in the document or on the district website) is not a non-employee parent. This is breaking Texas law. TEC 28.004 states that "One of those members (referring to parents) shall serve as chair or co-chair of the council."
"...one might be forced to deduct that the school district is stacking the SHAC..."
In 28.004 b, the code tells us that a school district must consider the recommendations of the local school health advisory council before changing the district's health education curriculum or instruction. 28.004 also explains that the SHAC is responsible for advising on human sexuality instruction as well as mental health education. Based on the above information, one might be forced to deduct that the school district is stacking the SHAC committee with district employees so that they may continue on with the harmful mental health program (tMHFA), woke social emotional learning (SEL) program (7 Mindsets), as well as the harmful human sexuality instruction (Big Decisions).
"It's really hard to vote against a program that your own boss selected."
"It's really hard to vote against a program that your boss selected", said one CISD parent we talked to. She continued with "the old saying 'don't bite the hand that feeds you' comes to mind." She is referring to the fact that even if a parent raises concerns, chances are good that all district employees will vote status quo with the district. CISD has stacked the SHAC with 9 (of 10) members who are district employees. Those 9 are strongly likely to vote with the school leadership especially Dakota Milloway. Mrs. Milloway is a member of the CISD 'Portable 7', a group that was trained on and teaches the tMHFA program to CISD sophomores. Why would anyone vote for removing a program that ensures their own job security? The final member, Mike Schnitger, is a food service vendor with Chartwell's who wants to keep his CISD contracts. Why would he ever vote against what the school leadership desires?
Unfortunately, selecting SHAC members that will be a 'sure vote' is not a new concept. This has been such a problem in Texas ISDs, and is why Deborah Simmons launched the website 'Take Back The SHAC'. Simmons warns that groups such as the Texas Freedom Network have created activist tools which outline how to take over a SHAC committee to ensure adoption of Planned Parenthood, SEICUS and other harmful programs. It is also common for school leadership to stack a SHAC to ensure their own desired program choices.
What effect has a stacked SHAC had on CISD?
From our research, parents on the CISD SHAC do not understand their role. They have not been presented TEC 28.004, and they do not understand that they should be making recommendations to the school board on programs that cover health education, mental health education, appropriate grade levels and methods of instruction for human sexuality instruction, a comprehensive school counseling program, and much more. Those who raise concerns, seem to be shut down or side stepped. This, along with the fact that the SHAC is stacked, seems to be why our district has numerous harmful programs that parents are not empowered to remove. Sadly, our district's harmful list of programs seems to be expanding. These damaging programs are effecting our children every day.
So who is to blame that our SHAC is stacked?
Obviously school leadership, but the school board does have skin in the game. Referencing TEC 28.004d again, "The board of trustees shall appoint ... members to the local school health advisory council (SHAC)". Is our board of trustees appointing members or is the superintendent selecting them? Is the board familiar with 28.004? Our guess is that the board is accepting information presented to them by school leadership. Unfortunately, we believe this is happening in more than one area.
It's important to have a school board that will research the law and hold the school leadership accountable. A community elects these individuals to represent the best interests of children and families. The board of trustees' decisions should reflect the values and moral beliefs of a community. According to the Texas Association of School Boards, local school board responsibilities can be grouped into five categories:
Adopt goals and priorities and monitor success
Adopt policies and review for effectiveness
Hire and evaluate the superintendent
Adopt a budget and set a tax rate
Communicate with the community
The most important is 'Hire and evaluate the superintendent'. A board has a the responsibility of renewing or not renewing a superintendent's contract. The superintendent is CEO. If he is not making decisions that are in the best interest of children, parents and teachers, it is ultimately the school board's decision to keep him/her in place or have him/her removed.
The real responsibility falls on parents. For far too long, parents have trusted the government and the schools to make decisions that affect our families and children. We must start taking an active role in monitoring what our children are being presented. We must start taking an active role in local government which includes running for school board, attending school board meetings and researching what is happening at the local, state and national level in public education. Children and parental authority are under attack in our nation. It's time for the body of Christ to stand up and speak up against everything that violates what the bible teaches. We must protect children at all costs. Parents, please opt your children out of objectionable instruction.
1 Timothy 6:20-21
For more information about SHAC suppression, please visit our accompanying blog, 'Sexual Education at CISD Harmful to Children'.
Canyon Independent School District (CISD) is in Region 16 of Texas and covers the Amarillo and Canyon, TX, areas in the Texas Panhandle. CISD is under the superintendent supervision of Dr. Daryl Flusche.
Take Back The SHAC - Parents, the state of Texas created SHACs so that we would have local control over Human Sexuality Instruction in our schools. Instead the abortion industry (or liberal school administrators) are training individuals to infiltrate SHACs to push their agenda on our children. It is time to Take Back the SHAC!
Back To School for Parents - A busy parents guide to what's happening in your children's classroom and practical steps you can take to protect them. Each section covers different topics, such as how to protect your child from inappropriate or biased material in the classroom, what to do when you find offensive or explicit books in your school library, and how to guard your child’s safety in school restrooms and locker rooms.
Family Watch International - Family Watch works to protect and promote the family as the fundamental unit of society at the international, national and local level through education, pro-family advocacy, and family-based humanitarian aid. To protect the family by working to preserve and promote traditional marriage, safeguard parental rights, defend human life, uphold religious liberty, and protect the health and innocence of children. Family Watch policy positions are based on scientific research, social science data, lessons from history, and what has been proven across cultures to produce the best outcomes for men, women, children and, thus, for society.
Protect Child Health Coalition - The Protect Child Health Coalition (PCHC) is a network of concerned citizens, parents, professionals, leaders, and organizations representing the fields of law, academia, mental and physical health, politics, religion, government and more who believe that all children should be protected from harmful materials, especially pornographic, obscene, or erotic materials. We are a nonpartisan coalition that welcomes people of all faiths (and of no faith) who have an interest in protecting the health and innocence of children.
Parental Rights - Protecting Children by Empowering Parents - is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit political action organization. We work to pass legislation that will protect families by preserving parental rights, stop legislation that endangers those rights, and generally raise awareness of these issues in the public eye
Texas Values - Their mission is to preserve and advance a culture of family values in the state of Texas and their vision is to stand for biblical, Judeo-Christian values by ensuring Texas is a state in which religious liberty flourishes, families prosper, and every human life is valued.
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