Although local school board races are typically nonpartisan, the three Cy-Fair ISD trustees elected in November 2021 campaigned as openly conservative, Christian Republicans and were each endorsed by the Harris County Republican Party.

Natalie Blasingame, Scott Henry and Lucas Scanlon defeated longtime incumbents John Ogletree, Don Ryan and Bob Covey with 11% voter turnout, Community Impact previously reported.

But not everyone in the community backed these new trustees—including CFISD parent Bryan Henry, an associate professor of political science and the civic engagement coordinator at Lone Star College-University Park. Bryan Henry also ran as the Democratic challenger to state Rep. Tom Oliverson, R-Cypress, in 2020.

His response to the CFISD board election outcome was to launch a nonpartisan Facebook group called Cy-Fair Civic Alliance “to organize against the extremism that we were seeing in Cy-Fair ISD,” he said at a Jan. 16 event celebrating the group’s rebrand as Cypress Families for Public Schools.

“My only goal when I started that Facebook group was to help facilitate positive change in our community, and through the collaboration and contributions of many of the people here, we have done far more than I could have imagined. We’ve traveled an interesting road since our beginning in November of ’21, and that road is leading us to November of ‘23—the next school board election,” he said.

About 300 people joined the Facebook group within the first two weeks, Bryan Henry said. Over the next 15 months, members of the group were vocal at school board meetings, speaking in support of providing students access to books with diverse perspectives as other local parents advocated to have certain books removed from CFISD libraries.

The group also delivered a letter and gift of appreciation to every CFISD librarian, hosted a “Books Under Fire” book club, held school supply drives and presented a scholarship to a CFISD graduate.

Meanwhile, Cypress Families for Public Schools President Lesley Guilmart said “trademark trolls” set out to “distract and deflate” the group. In an August essay, Bryan Henry said Trustee Lucas Scanlon’s wife, Bethany, helped create an LLC using the “Cy-Fair Civic Alliance” name and filed federal trademark paperwork to prevent others from using it.

The new Cy-Fair Civic Alliance

Todd LeCompte, a CFISD parent who ran for the school board in November 2021, spoke about his idea to launch a new organization called Texas Civic Alliance at a June 13 board meeting. He said he recognized a shortage of volunteers in public schools and wanted to encourage volunteerism statewide through this new "conservative, Christian" organization.

“We’re going to have different chapters. One of the branches that we do have is obviously Cy-Fair—Cy-Fair Civic Alliance. That’s not the be confused with the Facebook group; I know there’s a Facebook group that’s out there, but we are a legal entity. We do not accept donations; we’re not giving donations. But what we are doing is we’re giving of our time, and that’s the sole focus is just to volunteer in our community.”

A private Facebook group for the Texas Civic Alliance had 100 members as of mid-January. LeCompte is listed as the group’s president on its website alongside Vice President Monica Dean, who has expressed concerns about “sexually explicit” books in CFISD libraries and praised Blasingame, Scott Henry and Lucas Scanlon at board meetings.

The Texas Civic Alliance website also lists chapters for Houston, Klein, Katy and Tomball school districts as well as four past events—volunteer meetings in July and August, a prayer event called See You at the Pole in September and a Sept. 16 event that invited local students to create “In God We Trust” plaques to be donated to area schools regardless of which campus the student attends.

Senate Bill 797 in the 87th Texas Legislature, authored by state Sen. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, and signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott in June 2021, requires schools to display “in a conspicuous place in each building of the school” donated posters or framed copies of the national motto, “In God We Trust.” Oliverson was one of the bill’s sponsors and wrote an identical companion bill in House Bill 1218 that session.


Guilmart said members of the original Cy-Fair Civic Alliance group worked with attorneys to become a 501(c)(4) nonprofit.

The group's rebranding event Jan. 16 was held at Senate Avenue Brewing Co. Mendi Tackett, a mother based in the Fort Worth area who advocates against Christian nationalism following her own experience with school board politics, was the keynote speaker.

“What we see Christian nationalists in Texas going after are first and foremost our public schools ... because the ultimate end goal is vouchers,” Tackett said. “... And they do that by saying that we have pornography in our libraries and that our educators are indoctrinating our kids and that they're teaching [critical race theory] in K-12 and that you need to be afraid of who's going into what bathroom.”

School vouchers allow families to use government funds to send their students to their schools of choice. One of CFISD's legislative priorities for the 88th Texas Legislature is to "oppose legislation that diverts funding from public schools to private schools or home schools."

Bryan Henry, who now serves as vice president for Cypress Families for Public Schools, said he thought it was fitting to celebrate the rebrand on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

“Our public schools are threatened by extremists whose opposition to equality, inclusion—especially for the LGBTQ community—recalls the opposition to integration and racial equality that Dr. King organized against during this life,” he said. “That's the work that we are doing. We are building a coalition of Republicans, Independents and Democrats to defend our local public schools from extremists, promote equal opportunity and treatment, and celebrate freedom of expression and thought.”

A focus on the future

Looking ahead, Guilmart said Cypress Families for Public Schools will continue their work to engage, inform and unite the Cy-Fair community. Its leadership team wants to see “a Cy-Fair ISD that embraces the future, prioritizes an inclusive and equitable learning environment, and supports a diverse community where every child can thrive,” she said.

With four CFISD board seats—those of Tom Jackson, Debbie Blackshear, Julie Hinaman and Gilbert Sarabia—on the ballot this November, she said the group does plan to make candidate endorsements. The candidate filing period will start in July and end in August, according to the district’s website.

“We currently have three extremists on the seven-member CFISD school board. Fortunately, that means they don't have majority for now. However, the seats of the four trustees who serve in good faith are up for election this November, and if we have low voter turnout like we did in 2021, the Scanlons of the world may soon be dictating policy and the direction of our beloved school district,” Guilmart said.