Conroe Independent School District trustees are facing pushback from parents regarding a book that contains an online resource that was caught pushing children to change their gender without parental consent.

State Rep. Steve Toth (R-Conroe) drew attention to Donna Gephart’s book Lily and Dunkin on Monday, pointing out that page 335 highlights The Trevor Project’s “TrevorChat” resource.

The book is available in high school and junior high libraries to students as young as 7th grade.

Conroe ISD “now provides a resource guide to help your child to change gender without your knowledge,” Toth wrote in a post on X. “So very thoughtful of them.”

The Trevor Project is a nonprofit organization that claims its goal is to prevent suicide among “LGBTQ+
young people 24/7, all year round.”

However, the group’s TrevorChat resource, which can be accessed without parental consent, has come under fire for the conduct of some of its administrators.

One National Review report in August 2022 contained a conversation provided to the publication by a concerned parent that appeared to show a chat administrator encouraging the parent’s confused teenager to transition.

“I still feel more masc and more fem on days, but it doesn’t matter what I’m feeling I will always prefer to be a girl,” the minor wrote. “Does that make me trans or am I still genderfluid? Help I don’t know.”

The chat administrator replied, “If I had to guess based on your post, I’d say it sounds pretty trans.”

Toth’s post this week further noted that Conroe ISD Trustees Teresa Wagaman, Datren Williams, Skeeter Hubert, and Stacey Chase were opposed to removing the book from the district during an April 16 school board meeting.

“In Texas, we call elected ISD board members ‘Trustees’ because they are tasked with safeguarding our children as they’re being shaped and molded by educators,” Toth told Texas Scorecard. “Four of the CISD members have forfeited their responsibility to put the well-being of our children first, and they should be fired in November.”

At the board meeting, several parents and community members also spoke out against the book. Among them was Kent Frappier, a former teacher at Oak Ridge High School in Conroe ISD.

“Books like the one in question, and many others in the same genre, are placing our students at great risk at this time in their lives,” explained Frappier. “When does this slippery slope end? Books are meant to educate and not indoctrinate.

“As a community, do we really want this material available so easily to such an impressionable group? Books like these are like crying fire in a crowded theater. They just pour gasoline on a subject that should be between parent and child,” he added.

A motion to remove the book failed 3-3-1, with Wagaman absent from the vote.

Trustee Misty Odenwaller, who voted to remove the book, told Texas Scorecard that the district’s online library card catalog was not up-to-date.

This means parents and board members cannot check what books are on Conroe ISD shelves unless they individually fill out a form to inquire about a specific book.

“While the CISD Board policy may not clearly define the topic of gender fluidity, modifications, and hormone blockers directly, at this time, it is our role to provide meaningful, safe content to our students and that we have the authority and the responsibility to remove this book from the library and/or classroom shelves as trustees,” Odenwaller stated.

Conroe ISD’s decision to keep the book in school libraries comes as the board is also considering new by-laws regarding its School Health Advisory Committee that can prevent individuals fighting questionable books in the district from serving on the panel.

Conroe ISD referred Texas Scorecard to a recording of the April 16 school board meeting when it reached out for a statement.

Luca Cacciatore

Luca H. Cacciatore is a journalist for Texas Scorecard. He is an American Moment inaugural fellow and former welder.