Conservative Group 'Respect Midlothian 1888' Demands Firing of Black DEI Director

Some Midlothian parents are super scared of so-called "Critical Race Theory."
Some Midlothian parents are super scared of so-called "Critical Race Theory." Photo by Sam Balye on Unsplash
In June 2020, a Midlothian ISD Board of Trustees member faced considerable backlash after photos emerged of her dressed in blackface. In response, the district hired its first diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) director last August, but now, a local conservative group is demanding their firing.

Members of a group calling itself Respect Midlothian 1888 have begun petitioning Midlothian ISD to terminate DEI Director Chalisa Fain, who is Black, according to the Midlothian Mirror. They’ve also accused the district of teaching so-called “Critical Race Theory,” which school officials refute.

It’s the latest right-wing effort to demand greater restrictions on what Texas school districts can teach. Next Wednesday, a law will take effect that limits how teachers can discuss racism and current events in the classroom.

But while liberals insist that district-driven diversity training is necessary to help combat racism, some conservatives are doing all they can to snuff such efforts out.

On its website, Respect Midlothian 1888 calls itself a “grassroots group of passionate MISD parents and taxpayers striving to KEEP MIDLOTHIAN GREAT.” Other aims include preserving the “American Spirit” by “protecting Conservative Christian Values, Constitutional Rights, and Traditional Academic Education.”

The group claims to believe that all people are created equal. It further states that “Midlothian is a great community that believes in biblical truth above all else and is NOT a racist community.”

In an interview with the Midlothian Mirror, Respect Midlothian 1888 member Monica Mote reiterated that their demand is “not about race.”

The group didn’t respond to the Observer's request for comment by publication time.

The Mirror reports that critics have accused Fain of making racist and offensive social media posts, and of violating the district’s electronic communications policy and employee handbook code of conduct. In one post, Fain apparently asked for recommendations for a Black HVAC repairman.

The district has spoken with Fain about the concerns regarding her social media posts, Sheri Brezeale, MISD’s executive director of communications, said via email.

“Midlothian is a great community that believes in biblical truth above all else and is NOT a racist community.” –Respect Midlothian

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“We must also respect the First Amendment rights of our employees to engage in political or social discussions about matters of public concern on their own time as private citizens, regardless of their specific opinion or viewpoint,” she continued.

Critics also accuse Fain of being hired as part of an “inside job” by a “devious group that has crept into the district,” according to the Mirror. They say she got the position over other candidates who were better qualified.

But trustees hired Fain through a unanimous decision. According to Focus Daily News, Fain had served as the civil rights investigations supervisor (EEO/Housing) with the Texas Workforce Commission, Civil Rights Division prior to being hired at Midlothian. She’s had more than a decade of experience promoting DEI in Dallas.

Fain also graduated from Xavier University with a bachelor’s in political science and earned her Juris Doctorate from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School.

At time of publication, Fain had not replied to an email asking for comment.
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Simone Carter, a staff news reporter at the Dallas Observer, graduated from the University of North Texas' Mayborn School of Journalism. Her favorite color is red, but she digs Miles Davis' Kind of Blue.
Contact: Simone Carter