8 episodes

Southlake, Texas, seems to have it all: stately homes, intense civic pride, and above all, terrific schools. So when a video surfaced in 2018 showing Southlake high school students chanting the N-word—and when Black residents came forward to share stories of racist harassment and bullying—the school board vowed to make changes. But the unveiling of the Cultural Competence Action Plan set off a backlash that’s consumed Southlake, fueled by a growing national crusade against critical race theory. Hosted by NBC News national reporter Mike Hixenbaugh (host of the hit podcast Do No Harm) and NBC News correspondent Antonia Hylton, Southlake tells the story of how one idyllic city became the test case for a new political strategy with national repercussions.

Southlake NBC News

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Southlake, Texas, seems to have it all: stately homes, intense civic pride, and above all, terrific schools. So when a video surfaced in 2018 showing Southlake high school students chanting the N-word—and when Black residents came forward to share stories of racist harassment and bullying—the school board vowed to make changes. But the unveiling of the Cultural Competence Action Plan set off a backlash that’s consumed Southlake, fueled by a growing national crusade against critical race theory. Hosted by NBC News national reporter Mike Hixenbaugh (host of the hit podcast Do No Harm) and NBC News correspondent Antonia Hylton, Southlake tells the story of how one idyllic city became the test case for a new political strategy with national repercussions.

    Beyond the Bubble

    Beyond the Bubble

    Four educators -- and one former school board member -- on how the anti-CRT movement is separating them from their careers and their students.

    • 36 min
    Protect the Tradition

    Protect the Tradition

    It’s Election Day in Southlake, Texas — time to see if the fight over the Carroll school district’s Cultural Competence Action Plan translates into votes.

    • 39 min
    The Debate Channel

    The Debate Channel

    As school board candidates debate Southlake’s future, a queer 16-year-old faces off with her principal over his handling of a harassment complaint.

    • 42 min
    The Circus Comes to Town

    The Circus Comes to Town

    A new fixation on critical race theory muddies the debate in Southlake, drowning out the voices of students who’d come forward with stories about racism.

    • 38 min
    The Not-So-Silent Majority

    The Not-So-Silent Majority

    The Southlake Families PAC raises more than $100,000 to fight against what the group calls a “liberal takeover” of the schools — and starts building an army.

    • 38 min
    Just a Word

    Just a Word

    Southlake’s leaders try to unite the town after the N-word video. But the pandemic — and backlash to a local Black Lives Matter protest — upend their plans.

    • 39 min

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