Conroe ISD considers gender identity policy, prompting chaotic discussion during board meeting

Jiovanni Lieggi Image
Thursday, May 16, 2024
Conroe ISD board meeting turns chaotic during proposed gender policy
Conroe ISD trustees have tabled a motion to consider drafting a policy similar to a controversial gender policy in Katy ISD, which is now under an ongoing federal civil rights investigation.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- Conroe ISD trustees have tabled a motion to consider drafting a policy similar to a controversial gender policy in Katy ISD, which is now under an ongoing federal civil rights investigation.

Trustee Misty Odenweller proposed to create a policy related to parental authority and gender fluidity matters.

"This is a bully-like approach; we just keep picking on the same group of folks," Trustee Datren Williams said during the meeting.

Last year, Trustee Melissa Dungan proposed the removal of certain flags and posters on Conroe ISD campuses after she said a first-grade parent contacted her and complained about a poster.

In another meeting, the poster was described as depicting several hands together from different races, with a message of inclusivity in the child's classroom.

The proposal would likely mirror that of Katy ISD, which, among other policies, requires the pronouns used for persons on campus to be consistent with the biological sex of the person and that gender fluidity content is excluded from the classroom and instructional materials.

During the May 14 meeting, Odenweller appeared to have support from Dungan, who at one point said, "There are certain things that don't belong in our schools," and "I believe, along with other concerned parents and grandparents, that we're long overdue for considering this policy."

Trustee Tiffany Baumann Nelson told ABC13 that most of the feedback she received about the proposal, which didn't support it, was from outside the school district.

Nelson did not speak during the meeting or express any support or disapproval.

"This is about you bullying a group of people," Williams said in response to the proposal.

Williams sent ABC13 a statement that reads in part, "All students and staff should feel safe and free of policies that target or alienate any specific group."

Trustee Stacey Chase questioned whether the policies were necessary and if Odenweller would be able to provide any specific events in which it could be applicable.

"I think it's a problem in your mind," Chase told Odenweller.

Board of Trustees President Skeeter Hubert reiterated Williams' remarks, saying, "I don't know we need to entertain a policy or procedure that, as Mr. Williams was saying, 'would alienate a group of people.'"

Trustee Theresa Wagaman did not speak during the discussion.

ABC13 reached out to all of the trustees for comment and has yet to hear back from Chase, Odenweller, Dungan, Wagaman, and Hubert.

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