PJI Successfully Defends McKinney, TX School Board Trustee in Fight Over Sexually Explicit Books

McKinney, TX – The rights of a school board trustee to speak on behalf of concerned parents was front and center at a special meeting of the McKinney Independent School District’s board of trustees held on Monday, August 1st. The meeting’s original intent was to force parental rights champion, Chad Green off of the board or to censure him. However, Pacific Justice Institute Texas staff attorney, Emily Cook, successfully defended his right to speak against the sexualization of minors.

Green was elected to the board of trustees in 2021 on a platform of giving parents a voice, but since that time he has become a target for those in the district who disagree with the positions that he has taken. Last June, school board trustees considered a grievance filed against him by the parent of a transgender student who accused him of “gender-based harassment,” and Monday’s special meeting followed his testimony before a legislative committee regarding a bill meant to keep sexually explicit books out of children’s school libraries. Cook represented him on both occasions. Green was previously censured by the board in May of 2022 on allegations of violating the board’s policies and operating protocols. His supporters called the 2022 censure resolution a “witch hunt.”

Though the McKinney parent who filed the complaint against Green had wanted Monday’s hearing held behind closed doors, Green requested that the meeting be opened to the public. At the session, the complainant accused Green of “blatant misrepresentations” and “unsubstantiated rumors” in his testimony supporting House Bill 900. But PJI attorney Emily Cook noted that none of the items in the parent’s complaint violated any law or school board policy. She also pointed out that in his testimony, Green had specifically noted that he was testifying as a private citizen relaying information about drag queen story hours and the district’s focus on student’s sexuality conveyed to him by other parents in the school district.

Cook also asserted that though board members and parents may not agree with Green’s positions, the board’s policy prohibits retaliation against trustees for speaking on matters of public concern, and that forcing him off of the board or censuring him could result in legal action. “There is no permissible basis for censure,” she said. She made similar arguments in his defense during the June meeting, when she noted that the statements that had evoked the grievance did not violate any policy or constitute harassment.”

Speaking of the action against him, Green said, “These grievances are designed to punish me for testifying on HB900 and informing parents of the policies that are created without a formal public vote.” He went on to say, “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.”

In her defense of Mr. Green, PJI’s Emily Cook said, “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.” PJI President, Brad Dacus, praised the outcome of the two hearings, noting that his organization would continue to strenuously defend religious freedom and civil liberties. We stand read to defend school board members like Mr. Green, throughout the country.”

We are proud to say that, for over 25 years and always without charge, PJI’s unique goal is to ensure that no one is left on the side of road as it relates to their representation and defense of critical religious freedoms, parental rights and sanctity of life issues. We appreciate your partnership, and willingness to continue to give support and a strong voice to those who struggle against the forces of oppression.

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