In the previous post, educator Byron James Henry described the election of three Christian nationalists to the board of the Ct-Fair District in Texas. He hoped for the best and hoped they would put the needs of students before their religious agenda. In this post, he describes what they did after their election.

“Something is rotten” in Cy-Fair ISD. Christian Nationalism first reared its ignorant and intolerant head in Cy-Fair ISD at school board meetings during the summer of 2021 when a loud minority of extremists began denouncing the fake threat of Critical Race Theory (CRT). For example, one resident stated that “true Christ followers are horrified to learn how the CRT ideology and BLM have infiltrated many of our schools” and insisted that “things won’t improve until we are more concerned about God’s approval than the approval of the cult of CRT.” Many of the attendees, duped into believing that young white children are being taught to see themselves as “oppressors” and feel ashamed of their race, gave her a standing ovation. It is almost impossible to reason with misinformed, self-righteous people who believe they are engaged in a battle of good vs. evil. In their quest to “save” Cy-Fair ISD students from the “threat” of CRT, these residents helped fuel an extremist movement that threatens the foundational values of the public school system: diversity, toleration, pluralism, equal treatment, and equal opportunity. Note: If you or someone you care about has succumbed to Christian Nationalism, then Christians Against Christian Nationalism can help.

Contrary to the extremist argument that public schools have a liberal bias or indoctrinate children with “woke” ideas, the public school system prepares all children for participation in our diverse, pluralistic society. Christian Nationalists oppose the civic mission of public schools if it means promoting toleration and equality for marginalized groups or affirming religious pluralism and cultural diversity. They want the public schools to promote a conservative Christian worldview that reinforces their own political and religious agenda and ignores the historical legacy of racism and discrimination. In Cy-Fair ISD, three extremist candidates harnessed this Christian Nationalist energy in the November 2021 school board election: Scott Henry, Natalie Blasingame, and Lucas Scanlon.

These board members oppose anything the schools do to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Natalie Blasingame stated on the campaign trail that teachers in Cy-Fair ISD “shouldn’t have to check their faith at the door” and pushing a conservative, Christian agenda in Texas public schools has been her motivation for seeking public office for years. We’ve known since 2015 that Blasingame doesn’t support the separation of church and state, believes that God called her to run for school board to promote Christianity in public schools, and by her own admission stated, “I have no politics but obedience.” Obedience? To what, exactly? The U.S. Constitution? To her interpretation of the Bible? Is Natalie Blasingame, like her donor Steven Hotze, a supporter of Dominion Theology that insists Christians must take over all elements of society, government, and culture to impose a Biblical worldview on everyone? Christian Nationalists are opposed to the idea of a pluralistic, multicultural republic if it means a conservative Christian worldview cannot be imposed on all of society. Should someone with such an extremist agenda be making policy for our public schools?

Alarmed by the rise of political and religious extremism in my community, I founded the Cy-Fair Civic Alliance in November 2021. We started out as a Facebook group and quickly grew to approximately 400 followers in a few weeks. Residents responded to the notion that Cy-Fair ISD needed a non-partisan group that would promote strong, inclusive public schools that serve everyone. The values of diversity, toleration, pluralism, equal treatment, and equal opportunity resonated with the community, and we started organizing on behalf of Cy-Fair ISD students, teachers, and families.

We spoke at school board meetings, wrote emails to the district about important education issues, raised money to award a scholarship to a Cy-Fair ISD graduate who planned to become a teacher, and delivered gifts to all librarians in the district when their professionalism and integrity was being attacked by everyone from Governor Abbott to members of the Texas legislature to the Texas Education Agency. The supporters of the new extremist board members called us, in public at school board meetings, “groomers” for rejecting their calls to pull books off library shelves. They said that we were supporting the “sexualization” of young children and wanted to have “pornography” available in the school libraries. They even created a hateful, anonymous sewer of a blog that somehow manages to combine the stupidity of Marjorie Taylor Greene and the misogyny of Matt Gaetz.

Our non-partisan, grassroots organization always took the high road and remained focused on our mission. Then, to our surprise, a bizarre turn of events took place. Bethany Scanlon, the wife of Cy-Fair ISD trustee Lucas Scanlon, helped create an LLC using our organization’s name and even filed federal trademark paperwork to prevent us from using it. We first learned of the creation of the faux Cy-Fair Civic Alliance when it was announced during the “Citizen Participation” portion of the June 2022 school board meeting. We were, to say the least, a little perplexed that the same crowd of people who had called us “groomers” and constantly denounced our group decided to take our organization’s name! What could possibly be their motivation? Was this supposed to prevent us from doing our activism? And, why of all people, was a school board trustee’s spouse involved in this? What was Christian Nationalist Lady Macbeth up to? A quick glance at the internet revealed that her new organization was a self-described “Conservative Christian group that believes the Bible is the Word of God, Jesus Christ is Lord, and free volunteer service to others is a constructive way to help the community.”

Read on. The takeover of school boards by those who want to destroy public schools is a frightening development.