The Roma school district is planning to issue supplementary plans augmenting existing policies, handbook, practices, training and programs promoting the concepts of equality, acceptance, and student welfare by the end of next week, the district announced in a statement Friday.
The announcement follows controversy about a high school teacher at the district who was briefly placed on paid administrative leave over complaints regarding imagery in her virtual classroom supporting Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ rights.
The teacher, Taylor Lifka, was reinstated earlier this week after a petition demanding she be returned to class garnered thousands of signatures.
“Roma ISD intends to approach this process thoughtfully and meaningfully; however, it cannot happen overnight,” the district’s statement read. “It is our desire and intention to consider the viewpoint and opinion of our students, parents and school officials, and to collaborate with those persons to fully respect and consider their perspectives.”
According to the statement, the district anticipates implementing some or all of policies relating to expanding employee training, creating a committee of district officials and students, creating additional policies and regulations, and other action as necessary by the end of the school year.
The district emphasized Friday that policies supporting equality were in place prior to the controversy, but said that there was room for review and possible change.
“While we feel we do work every day to treat each child, staffer, parent and community member with respect, we know there is always room for improvement,” Roma ISD Superintendent Carlos Guzman wrote in the statement. “We are committed to this process, we are committed to the protection of our students, and we are committed to the future of our community. We will continue listening and working for the betterment of Roma ISD, our city, our county, and our region.
“We have always thought of Roma ISD as a diamond shining bright in academics and so many areas: this is another area where we can lead and be an example. Again, I want to thank all of our teachers and staff for their dedication and hard work to keep our students focused on excellence.”