Patriot Mobile, a conservative Christian cellphone company that contributed to school board candidates in several North Texas school districts, has donated “In God We Trust” signs to display at all Carroll schools in Southlake.
Trustees accepted the donation during a special board meeting Monday.
Under state law, if school districts receive donations of the posters with the national motto, “In God We Trust,” they must be displayed in prominent locations at all campuses.
Scott Coburn, chief marketing officer for Patriot Mobile, said during the meeting that the company is proud of its Christian message and said several employees live in Southlake.
“As you know, ‘In God We Trust” is our nation’s official motto,” Coburn said. “This law requires K-12 schools to display signs combined with our nation’s flag.”
Three people in the audience signed up to speak during the public comment portion of the meeting. All thanked Patriot Mobile for the donation.
Kelly McGuire, who spoke during the meeting, said she was pleased with the donation and didn’t agree with social media posts that were critical of the signs.
McGuire asked for the policy review committee to add on-campus signs to items under review.
The Southlake Anti-Racism Coalition posted about the Patriot Mobile donation on its Twitter feed and urged people to sign up and speak.
One person wrote: “I thought we were trying to keep politics out of classrooms. Now, we have a far right PAC making presentations at school board meetings Make it make sense.”
In the May school board elections, Grapevine-based Patriot Mobile poured $500,000 into a PAC to support candidates in the Carroll, Grapevine-Colleyville, Keller and Mansfield school districts.
Meanwhile, Coburn said Patriot Mobile is looking forward to donating the “beautiful posters.”
“We live here. We attend school. We love Southlake,” he said.
Safety, security measures updated
On Monday, the school board also got an update on the Carroll school district’s safety and security measures put in place following the mass shooting in Uvalde.
Tamy Smalskas, executive director of policy and student services, told trustees that the district completed the required safety audit that Gov. Greg Abbott ordered earlier this summer.
All exterior and interior doors lock properly, and Carroll also has strict requirements in place so that visitors must come to an office and show valid identification before they are allowed to go to a classroom.
Students and staff must have Carroll ISD badges at all times, she said.
Smalskas added that the Southlake police department suggested that the district have a numbered system for all doors that first responders have in case there is an incident, and the work is almost complete on that, she said.
There is also a system in place to immediately place schools on lockdown, she said.
“We don’t want to be complacent, but we’ve done a lot,” she said.
There are also school resource officers on all campuses.