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.
Grapevine - Ep. 6: A Final Lesson
Grapevine goes to the polls in a contentious school board election driven by the fight over the role of religion and LGBTQ inclusion in public schools. As the dust settles, Ren reflects on the impact of her mother’s allegations. And, after months of feeling as if she’s had to erase herself, Em Ramser reclaims her voice.
27/11/2023 • 49 minutes 7 seconds
Grapevine - Ep. 5: Open The Floodgates
Evangelical activists open a new front in their campaign to impose their version of biblical morality in public schools — at the Texas statehouse. While legislators debate bills requiring the Ten Commandments and banning mention of gender identity in classrooms, three nonbinary students share the trauma they’ve endured at Grapevine High. Meanwhile, a coalition of progressive parents and disillusioned conservatives pledge to retake control of their school system.
27/11/2023 • 44 minutes 42 seconds
Grapevine - Ep. 4: A Raging Fire
Weston Brown, 28, sees a video of his homeschooling mother calling for dozens of books on sexuality and gender to be banned from public schools in another Texas school district. To counter her political activism, Weston publicly shares his story of growing up gay in a fundamentalist Christian family. Feeling pressured by parents and school officials, Em Ramser removes LGBTQ symbols from her classroom and no longer recognizes the teacher she’s become.
27/11/2023 • 43 minutes 9 seconds
Grapevine - Ep. 3: A Harvest Is Coming
Amid a growing anti-trans backlash, Ren devises a plan to get out of Texas — and away from her mother. In Grapevine, Sharla’s claim that teacher Em Ramser “infected” her child with lies about gender triggers online attacks, leading Ramser to consider leaving the profession.
27/11/2023 • 47 minutes 43 seconds
Grapevine - Ep. 2: The Seven Mountains
Conservatives are gaining power in Grapevine, fueled by a once-fringe movement that calls on evangelicals to control the seven key “mountains” of American society — including education. A cellphone company with a Christian nationalist agenda heeds that call and sets its sights on winning school board seats in Grapevine, following an example set a year earlier in the neighboring city of Southlake.CORRECTION (Oct. 4, 2023, 08:40 p.m. ET): A previous version of this episode misstated the amount of money Patriot Mobile Action spent in school board elections in North Texas in spring 2022. It was nearly $500,000, not $600,000.
27/11/2023 • 44 minutes 26 seconds
Grapevine - Ep. 1: The Girl And The English Teacher
A mother named Sharla publicly accuses a high school teacher in Grapevine, Texas, of using a graphic novel called “The Prince and the Dressmaker” to convince her child to change genders. Reporters Mike Hixenbaugh and Antonia Hylton set out to investigate the allegation. Sharla’s child, Ren, and Ren’s English teacher, Em Ramser, tell them a different story.