‘Bad Apple’ Justin Henry Abandons 10,000 Students

Justin Henry | Image by Justin Henry/Facebook

Dallas Independent School District (DISD) Trustee Justin Henry has been named The Dallas Express’ first Bad Apple of the Quarter for abandoning the most children, condemning them to neglect and ignorance at schools with unacceptable student achievement ratings.

The Dallas Express considers any student attending a school with a Student Achievement Score of 69 or below to be abandoned by the school district, the trustee within whose district the student’s school is located, and by the entire board of trustees. 

Henry, who represents Education District 9 — which includes parts of Downtown, Deep Ellum, Uptown, South Dallas, Pleasant Grove, and East Dallas — had 17 schools in his district earn below 70 out of 100 on their campus student achievement scores based on the Texas Education Agency’s accountability reports for the 2021-2022 school year.

All told, those 17 schools were supposed to be educating some 10,003 students. Instead, despite the sincere efforts of DISD’s hardworking teachers, those youths were let down by elected leaders at the helm of a dysfunctional and unaccountable school system.

Henry currently serves as president of DISD’s board of trustees and has been a trustee since 2018. His biography page on the district’s website boasts a number of equity initiatives he has participated in, including serving on the district’s Racial Equity Task Force and sitting on an advisory committee for the Jackie Robinson Foundation, “whose mission is to provide scholarships and leadership development opportunities for students of color with limited financial resources.”

However, despite the trustee’s seeming concern for students of color and their future opportunities, it just so happens that the overwhelming majority of students stuck in his D and F schools are either black or Hispanic.

Demographic Breakdown of Students Justin Henry Abandoned
Student Race Total Abandoned % of Total Abandoned
Hispanic 5,897 59.0%
Black 3,727 37.3%
All Other Races 379 3.7%
Total 10,003 100.0%

These students are trapped at the following schools:

  • Lincoln Humanities/Communications Magnet High School (69 – D)
  • Thelma Elizabeth Page Richardson Elementary School (69 – D)
  • W.A. Blair Elementary School (69 – D)
  • Citylab High School (66 – D)
  • James Madison High School (66 – D)
  • Paul L. Dunbar Learning Center (65 – D)
  • Ann Richards STEAM Academy (64 – D)
  • Ignite Middle School (62 – D)
  • Piedmont Global Academy (62 – D)
  • San Jacinto Elementary School (62 – D)
  • Billy Earl Dade Middle School (60 – D)
  • C.A. Tatum Jr. Elementary School (59 – F)
  • Harold Wendell Lang Sr. Middle School (59 – F)
  • Frank Guzick Elementary School (58 – F)
  • Frederick Douglass Elementary School (57 – F)
  • E.B. Comstock Middle School (55 – F)
  • H.S. Thompson Learning Center (47 – F)

The Dallas Express 
reached out to Trustee Henry for comment, informing him of how many students he abandoned last school year, but received no response by press time.

Note: This article was updated on April 20, 2023, at 6:09 a.m. to accurately reflect the number of abandoned students in Henry’s district.

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  1. JAThorne

    Thank you for posting actual grade results of students. The failure of the school system needs to be addressed. Mega-dollars are spent on Admin. More emphasis should be on the actual learning. We are failing our students. Many of today’s children more structure.

  2. Steve Upham

    Trustee Henry (and all school district Trustees, Superintendents, Staff): Tone down DEI, Tone up Success Sequence, Delayed Gratification, personal accountability, personal finance, teacher and school respect, etc. etc.

  3. Janet

    I understand the seriousness of the subject. Attack language never solves problems, only ensures defensiveness, and obscures the issue. Straightforward, factual reporting is real journalism.

    • Lou Sassole

      Good point, Janet. But this “newspaper” isn’t concerned with good reporting or creating a dialogue…just attack things the owner of this rag wants attacked. Anyone got any news on Harlan Crow, or is he off limits. “Newspaper” my eye. This is yellow journalism to push divides at its finest.

      • Concerned Voter

        Wow. I know this paper leans right. Conservatives know it. Conservatives know that FoxNews leans right. FoxNews openly admits it. The travesty is that 90% of local and national news leans left and covers Conservative perspectives as a footnote. I believe in Democracy but Democracy dies in darkness. Wonder where that came from, oh, The Washington Post. One of the most left leaning newspapers in the country.

      • Concerned Voter

        I’ll add one more thing. The DMN leans left. Does the DMN allow for open dialogue on their articles? You have to dig deep to find out how to provide comments to their reporters.

        • R Reason

          The DMN is a different animal; they report REAL news and their feedback loop is a Letter to the Editor.

          This is more like Twitter; don’t believe anything you read here, including if anyone tells you DMN leans-left, they’re wrong. DMN leans-right; https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/dallas-morning-news/

  4. Nurse

    It dishonors the memory of great Americans to have their names on failing schools. Dallas schools can do better for our precious children and for the heritage of those who have gone before us.

  5. Jay

    The problem with public schools is that they are stuck teaching in the 1980’s. Young people do not learn the same way as we did in the past. Place them in small clicks and teach them on devices. Classroom insturctions are no longer necessary as the only method to issue assingments. The entire curriculum can be delivered in a video or video game.

    • Concerned Voter

      Students need to learn how to socialize, communicate and work with others. They need to develop competitive skills without resorting to violence. They need to concentrate on reading, science, writing and mathematics. On line testing is the perfect vehicle to cheat. Have one device open with searchable answers to the questions and the other with the test. Or just ask Siri or Google for the answer. They get enough exposure to video game interaction and the violence that comes from it.

  6. Michael

    Just like You can’t make a horse drink water ,you can’t make a kid LEARN.

  7. Josiah Daniel

    You, “The Dallas Express,” in fact do not “provide fact-based, non-partisan news.” You are run by a Chicago-based operation called Metric Media News that owns hundreds of such dubious news sites all across the country. Metric Media News, founded by conservative Chicago businessman Brian Timpone, is part of a broader network of right-wing websites that masquerade as nonpartisan, local news.

    And now today you attack my friend and former colleague, Justin Henry, for his service on the board of trustees of Dallas ISD. This is unjust and unfair, and I condemn “The Dallas Express” for its scurrilous attack on a very good man and public servant. 

    -Josiah Daniel

    • micah

      We should center ourselves around the students and their families, not your sentiment.

      The stats do not lie, and the consequence of those children not getting a decent education is more important than your feelings or claims.

      The article pulled the stats, and what is telling is there is a history of disturbing statistics…meaning this is ongoing.

      Have you considered the 5-15 year consequence of a piss-poor education? Or are you in the same league as Justin and want to put all the blame on the families affected and sweep this problem under the rug for another year or few?

  8. Taxes paid

    Does Trustee Henry have his children in any of the schools listed in his district? Where are his children enrolled?

  9. sense

    Has anyone who’s replied or especially the editorial board spent a minute in a current classroom environment? I grew up in North dallas and went to Hillcrest. What are the historical drop out rates and more importantly were any of you around during the start of forced bussing? The minority kids had an hour long bus ride up and back. And at the 45th reunion, a number of those adults, who were bussed, come to the reunions. How about we ask them their experience and how it affected their lives? The white kids, like me, never were bussed south. The busses did not go south. Instead they bailed on private schools and now people have the gall to think my school tax dollars should subsidize their kid’s private and probably religious education. How happy will you be when your tax dollars fund Madrassas rather than a good catholic or christian ‘upbringing’? I have a buddy who as a college extension professor teaches computer tech to high school students. Well…its not a whole lot different. You have students who want and are motivated to do well. And you have students who are in school because we treat school as day care. And you have students that are not going to fit in. For years my teacher friends have told me that within about 5 minutes of the first day the teacher can tell you who will do well and who won’t. There are so many issues that are identical today as they were when I was in school. Parent involvement is a huge one, but we’ve engineered our society such that a family can hardly get by without two incomes and then the parents have to come home and work with their kids. And some of those families need 4 incomes – i.e. parents working two jobs. When we finally acknowledge that we have different people in society and actually put that in books, that becomes an issue rather than figuring out classroom management and having teachers who sometimes have to pay out of their own pockets to provide materials so kids can learn. Then we have the impact and distractions of electronic devices. School is set so that the smart kids are bored, and perhaps some kids can’t keep up or have no support so they are left behind. How about the Dallas Express rather than sitting around pointing fingers actually gets involved, if it cares, to talk with educators and administrators and figure out how to make the system work and put in some effort. I have mentored and tried to tutor some kids, and some get it and some don’t. It will take a bigger mind than I have to solve the issues but banning books and further segmenting society because we don’t want to make the effort to improve education as a society or understand the differences with each of us is not a solution. Schools are always and will continue to be a mill and there is great pressure on the schools to just socially promote/pass kids through because of funding initiatives like ‘no child left behind’. Well that was punitive but it sure as hell did not provide solutions to make sure ‘no child was left behind’. I wrote an editorial years ago that the DISD spent 10s of millions on a football stadium. Well, I put that on the trustees of the time because that money could have been spent on teacher, or better yet tutors for those kids who needed more help than blasting through subjects at a pre-described rate to meet teaching goals that are arbitrarily set. I can go on and on. People are motivated by prizes, so how about the Express provides an editorial column for each school that they publish. How about we ask the kids what they’d like to say. They are the future. There is your chance to be part of the solution rather than further drifting off into partisan politics and the issue of the minute. And one more thing, what is the drop out rate and school rating of WT White, Woodrow, Hillcrest, Bryan Adams, etc.? What are stats for those schools? If you are going to report, then report everything and let us see how things are doing. Maybe some of those schools are doing well for ‘pushing grades’ around?

  10. R Reason

    As seen by the SpaceX explosion yesterday, failure can also be attributed as a success. Congrats Justin!
    “Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.” – Elon Musk

  11. Darrell Alexander Sr

    It’s a failure of society and the parents! My two cents!



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