Unauthorized Film Crew at Local ISD Worries Parents

film crew
Film crew at Central High School | Image by NBC DFW

Parents of students attending Keller Independent School District are demanding answers after an unauthorized filming incident at one of its campuses earlier this month.

The fallout continues after the discovery that a production crew from the Dutch evangelical television channel Evangelische Omroep was brought into Central High School on February 9. The seven-person crew was purportedly shooting a documentary called God, Jesus, Trump on campus without parental or district consent.

Keller District Superintendent Dr. Tracy Johnson acknowledged the incident in a statement to parents.

“The District and Board were not aware of the scheduled interview,” it read, according to NBC 5 DFW. “KISD administrators have been in contact with the film company, who have assured us that no students or teachers would be visible in the video they are producing.”

Trustee Sandi Walker, who allegedly escorted the film crew on campus, resigned on February 18 due to the controversy. She wrote in a now-deleted social media post that she was proud of what she had accomplished serving the district for 20 months.

“My faith is in Jesus and I can rest in the confidence of knowing His plans are good,” Walker wrote, according to CBS News Texas.

Another trustee, Micah Young, admitted to having been present during the visit and participating in an interview. However, he claimed that he thought no students would appear in the documentary.

Yet several students reported the contrary, alleging that members of the crew spoke with them and openly filmed them.

“They were here the whole day, like the whole school day. They said they were in different classrooms. They talked about their political agenda,” said student Elliott Mullaney, per NBC 5.

“We were all so confused,” said another student, Henry Hawes, who is a sophomore, according to CBS. “They came up and sat behind our table and started recording us.”

His mother, Laney Hawes, raised not only safety concerns for having the crew at the school but also moral ones related to students being potentially exploited for political aims.

“My kids and other kids are being used as props,” she said, per CBS. “We have policies in place that are supposed to prevent this. And what’s unfair is, we can have all the policies in the world but what’s the point if the people in charge break them?”

The security of school campuses has been a matter of grave concern since the shooting in Uvalde. Texas lawmakers passed a law last year mandating the presence of at least one armed peace officer at every taxpayer-funded district campus, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

Hawes added that parents wanted more transparency and accountability from district officials — not apologies.

“We’re not going to stop until they’re gone,” she said, calling for whoever is responsible to resign.

Similar calls for transparency have been made by parents in Dallas ISD, where polling by The Dallas Express previously found that approximately 53% of those questioned wanted the district to be more transparent.

As extensively reported by The Dallas Express, many parents with students in the district have expressed that they think Dallas ISD should be more transparent.

The Dallas Express has also extensively covered how the district appears to drag its feet when responding to open records requests from this publication.

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article