Image: Former “Mama Bear” Melissa Dugan (far right), whom voters had elected in November on her platform vowing to remove pornographic materials from Conroe ISD’s library shelves, voted with the Board of Trustee liberals on Wednesday, January 18, 2023, to keep “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” in the school district’s libraries. The motion to uphold the decision of the secretly appointed book committee to keep the offensive book in school libraries passed on a four (4 – Dugan, Trustee Stacey Chase, Trustee Theresa Wagaman, Trustee Datren Williams) to three (3 – President Skeeter Hubert, Trustee Tiffany Nelson, Trustee Misty Odenweller) vote at the conclusion of an eight hour meeting.
The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Conroe, January 19 – The motion to keep the pornographic book “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” from the Conroe Independent School District’s (Conroe ISD) libraries died on a three (3) to four (4) vote around 1 a.m. on Wednesday, January 18, 2023, when Trustee Melissa Dungan, who had won election in November as a “Mama Bear” who opposed the presence of pornographic books in the district’s libraries turned against her supporters and “Mama Bear” colleagues on the Board and voted in favor of pornography. Dungan made no mistake, as she voted twice in favor of keeping the sexually explicit and offensive book on the school district’s library shelves.
It was a stunning defeat for the three conservatives on the Conroe ISD Board who voted to remove the book, Board President Skeeter Hubert, Trustee Tiffany Nelson, and Trustee Misty Odenweller. The vote came as an appeal from a decision last fall by a secret school district committee to keep the pornographic novel in school libraries. Please see “Conroe ISD’s Hidden Pornography Committee Decides To Keep Two Offensive Porn Books On Library Shelves, While Board Of Trustees Shirks Responsibility,” The Golden Hammer, October 4, 2022, https://thegoldenhammer.net/conroe-isds-hidden-pornography-committee-decides-to-keep-two-offensive-porn-books-on-library-shelves-while-board-of-trustees-shirk-responsibility/
What is so tragic about the vote is that conservatives came so close to prevailing on an issue on which conservative activists had focused for several years only to find betrayal among one of their own. Clearly, prior to the meeting, Board President Hubert had been the “swing” or deciding vote with three “Mama Bear” conservatives who had won election against maintaining the pornographic books in the library with three establishment liberals (Trustee Stacey Chase, Trustee Theresa Wagaman, and Trustee Datren Williams) in favor of them.
Hubert showed enormous leadership during the discussion over which he presided. Two outside attorneys presented the respective cases for and against the school district maintaining the pornography in the district’s children’s libraries. Approximately forty-seven (47) citizens signed up to speak during citizen comments, most for or against “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”
Hubert’s comments were particularly thoughtful, as he noted that the book doesn’t provide much value, while suffering from explicit scenes with pedophilia and pornography.
Hubert said, “I read this book as well…It doesn’t matter what I like or don’t like; this was my job. What I found was…this book covered a lot of those things [in high school]. The comment that was made earlier was about drugs, alcohol; we have students in our district like that…we also have arrests…not one of these kids in this book were arrested and that’s not reality…nobody overdosed in this book…I was deeply disappointed that this book didn’t touch on any of those things…in this district we have all of those things…I have problems with slapping people around, pedophilia…It’s a horrible message that making out is what friends do. If that was a man and a woman, that’s a horrible message…This book didn’t address things in a manner that was reality…I’m not for banning books…I think there are other resources other than this book…There are resources for students…We have a lot of other resources today that kids can come out with.”
Hubert noted that “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” fails to “share the consequences of those actions.”
Ultimately, the Board voted twice to keep “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” in public school libraries. One motion, newly-elected firebrand Misty Odenweller made was to offer an opt in for parents that want their students to read controversial obscene content with mature material similar to the procedure for sex education material. Sadly, there was not enough support for this motion, which failed. The other motion was to support the secret school district committee recommendation of keeping the books in the libraries. Secrecy and obscenity prevailed by one vote.
It was a terrible defeat for conservatives, especially after working in this community so hard to elect the three “Mama Bear” candidates, Odenweller, Nelson, and Dungan, in the November election.
Hubert showed enormous thoughtfulness and independence. Dungan betrayed her core constituents. Pornography will remain in Conroe ISD libraries. The secret school district committee recommended giving parents the option to opt out but keep the book on the shelves.