Outspoken parental rights champion Chad Green has been under fire since his election to the McKinney Independent School District’s board of trustees in 2021.
At a special board meeting on Monday, Green was once again the target of complaints intended to silence his voice on an issue important to him and his constituents: “Stop sexualizing minors.”
That message—stated emphatically by Green near the end of Monday’s meeting—has motivated his actions for the past two years. Many believe it has also motivated the attacks against Green.
“It appeared clear that this entire procedure was tailored to serve as a circular firing squad aimed at the lone trustee who has constantly stood up against the sexualization of children within MISD,” McKinney activist Roger Wheelock told Texas Scorecard.
Green ran on a platform of giving parents a voice in the district.
After months of being the only trustee to side with parents demanding that the district remove sexually explicit books from school libraries, Green was censured by the board in May 2022 following what one resident called a “witch hunt.”
Green continued to speak out against the sexualization of students.
In March of this year, Green traveled to Austin and testified before a legislative committee in favor of House Bill 900, a measure to keep sexually explicit books out of kids’ school libraries.
McKinney ISD parent Susan Holdrich took issue with Green’s testimony and filed a complaint with the board, which was the subject of Monday’s board meeting.
Grievance or ‘Inquisition’?
Holdrich wanted Monday’s grievance hearing to be held behind closed doors, but Green asked that the proceedings be held in open session.
In her grievance, Holdrich alleged that Green’s testimony to lawmakers about adult content in school libraries included “unsubstantiated rumors” about drag queen story hours in McKinney schools. She characterized Green’s statements about the district’s focus on students’ sexuality as “blatant misrepresentations.”
Holdrich wanted Green either forced off the board or censured.
Green’s attorney, Emily Cook, countered that none of Green’s actions listed in Holdrich’s complaint violated any law or school board policy.
Cook is with the Pacific Justice Institute, which specializes in defending religious freedom and civil liberties.
She said Green clearly stated to lawmakers that he was testifying as a private citizen, and that he truthfully conveyed information provided to him by parents in the district who were too fearful of retaliation to speak publicly themselves.
“That a parent feels uncomfortable coming forward is incredibly reasonable,” Cook said. “Look at what we’re doing right now. … No wonder he or she was afraid to come forward.”
Cook said board policy actually prohibits retaliation against trustees for speaking on matters of public concern, and that any action taken against Green by the board could result in legal exposure.
“You may disagree with the content of his speech and actions, but as an individual he has the right to speak those opinions, and as an elected member of this board, he has a duty to do his job,” Cook said. “There is no permissible basis for censure.”
During questioning by the board, Cook said that trustees seemed more focused on “trying to punish Mr. Green for airing dirty laundry of the school district” than on determining whether parents’ concerns are warranted.
Cook added that improper use of censure “sets a horrible precedent.”
During board deliberations, trustee Amy Dankel acknowledged censure by the board “doesn’t do anything.”
“There’s nothing to that,” she said. “It doesn’t matter that we censured him last time.”
Dankel proposed asking Green to resign, accusing him of “sabotaging the district” and being “consistently out of step” with the community.
The board voted 6-1 to request Green’s resignation—a symbolic vote that has no impact, as the board has no authority to remove an elected board member.
Dankel also proposed revising board policy so that certain procedural violations can trigger a recall or other steps for removing an elected trustee. The board approved a policy review with another 6-1 vote.
Local resident Judi Neal, whose grandchildren attended McKinney ISD, called Monday’s hearing “another inquisition” and said she applauds Green “for standing tall and defending his Christian values, for not accepting the status quo, and for standing to protect the innocent.”
“Chad has stood against the sexual indoctrination of young children within the MISD school system,” said Neal.
My question to the board is this, why are you fighting so hard to remove Chad from the board? Why are you not fighting alongside him to remove the sexually explicit books from our school libraries? Why are you refusing to acknowledge there are major flaws in the online apps made available to our children? Why are you wasting so much time, energy, and money to silence his voice?
Board President Philip Hassler stated that trustees are required to hear grievances brought by district residents.
Prior Grievance for ‘Misgendering’ Student
Last month, during the June 27 school board meeting, trustees considered another grievance filed against Green.
McKinney ISD parent Jonathan Steele, a self-identified member of the Satanic Temple, complained that Green had “publicly misgendered” his “son” on social media and described the student as Steele’s “transgender daughter who calls herself a boy.”
“McKinney Independent School District has him classified as male” in all records, Steele said of his child, who has since graduated.
Steele accused Green of engaging in “gender-based harassment,” which he said is “prohibited conduct” under board policy.
Cook, who represented Green against that grievance as well, said the two statements Steele attributed to Green, made on a conservative podcast and in front of the Texas Legislature, did not violate any policy or constitute harassment.
“It’s no secret” that Steele has a transgender child, she said. “And that’s not because of Chad Green. That’s because of the Steeles.”
She pointed out that Steele has talked openly about his child’s gender issues and publicly praised the district for allowing school officials to administer testosterone and letting his child room with members of the opposite sex on an overnight school trip.
“Trustee Green was elected by voters in this school district,” Cook added. “That means despite how much Mr. Steele or anyone on this board disagrees with his Christian world view, trustee Green was elected for precisely that reason.”
Trustees denied Steele’s grievance.
At Monday’s grievance hearing, trustee Lynn Sperry, who has served on the McKinney ISD school board for 40 years, said it is important that board members are able to trust each other.
Green said it is most important that parents are able to trust their elected school board members.
“The hypersexualized material provided by this board and administrators to minors is truly the issue,” Green told Texas Scorecard. “These grievances are designed to punish me for testifying on HB 900 and informing parents of the policies that are created without a formal public vote.”
It is my greatest desire that the district and board protect these minors from obscene materials. Many parents have tried to bring this forward on the agenda for an honest dialogue, but the board refuses to place it on the agenda. All that is left to me and the parents is the public forum at large.
Information about McKinney ISD school board members and meetings can be found here.
Soli Rice contributed to this article.