by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Texas resident Scott Henry had never run for any sort of political office and had no political aspirations of any kind.
But last week, he was one of dozens of parents across the country who won school board races by campaigning on providing a voice to parents concerned about critical race theory, school mask mandates, and the lack of transparency from school board members.
A successful businessman and parent who regularly volunteers at his local Baptist church, Henry says he only decided to run for the school board of Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District, based in a suburb of Houston, when he realized that the “gentlemen and ladies” on the board were ignoring parental concerns.
In an interview with the Washington Examiner, Henry cited “the lack of transparency and accountability in our board” as the catalyst for his decision to run.
“A board should be open to the public and responsive to the public’s needs and wants,” he said. “We’re here for the parents first and foremost.”
Henry ran against incumbent Don Ryan and handily defeated him last Tuesday with over 17,000 votes, more than twice Ryan’s totals, according to elections website Ballotpedia .
Ryan had signed a September 2020 resolution declaring that systemic racism existed in the school district and that the district needed to “conduct an equity audit that will lead us to develop an equity policy/policies so we can better strive to close the gaps of opportunity and achievement among ethnic groups, races, genders and those of low socioeconomic status and learning differences.”
“Our message resonated because parents wanted change, they wanted better changes in our policies in Cy-Fair and they wanted to ban CRT,” Henry said, mentioning transparency from the school board as a policy that especially resonated with parent voters.