Students in Plano ISD Make Their Voices Heard via Instagram

This article was originally published on July 16, 2020.

Recently, an account on Instagram by the name @dearplanoisd has been sharing Plano’s student and staff experiences of “racism or other discriminatory practices”. This account shares the stories of current and previous students of Plano Independent School District’s elementary, middle, and high schools anonymously. The account’s purpose is to share these experiences so that the school district is inspired to grow in a better direction and bring light to the microaggressions and compliments that are rooted in racism, which have previously been ignored.

The account posted its first story on July 1st and has since shared over a hundred stories and earned around 2,000 followers in less than a week. Many students and employees from Plano ISD have shown appreciation on Instagram for @dearplanoisd and the stories they have shared, as it has allowed for students to be able to share their voices on these overlooked issues. Each of the account’s posts has received around 400 likes, showing that many appreciate those who have shared their stories through this account and relate to some of them. With the account’s fast growth, many others are being inspired to make their own account for their school district like, for example, @dearideapublicschools which is centered around a district also in Texas.

@dearplanoisd is also home to educational resources for awareness and support. In many of their posts, the official Plano ISD and Plano PTA accounts have been tagged to make them aware of what is happening behind the scenes at Plano ISD schools. The comments on the stories written by followers touch on how teachers and counselors are not aware of what to do during situations inspired by racism and discrimination and how many adults are not able to help with students’ mental health issues. While many comments on these posts have been positive and are helping make a change, some trolls have also been seen on the account trying to submit fake stories or being negative in the comments, bringing up the need to screen stories and to possibly remove the commenting ability.

While this account’s main purpose is to help reform Plano ISD, it is important for everyone to read the stories of those who have had to go through horrible experiences as we have much more to learn. While Frisco may have been deemed as America’s #1 best place to live in 2018, it is still far from perfect. Accounts such as @dearplanoisd will help us change that and have a safer community for Frisco citizens, as it helps us become more aware of racism and discrimination occurring around us.