The Road to an “Education Destination”

  • May 26, 2021, Granbury ISD trustee Paula McDonald begins promoting an event she organized, bringing in anti-CRT, anti-public school speaker Dr. Carol Haynes
  • June 16, 2021, Carole Haynes speaks in Granbury, introduced by school board trustee Paula McDonald (who apparently isn’t really a Dr, but that’s a story for another day).
  • July 27th, 2021, Granbury ISD teacher Emily Schigut speaks to the board during open session, calling out Paula McDonald. Superintendent Jeremy Glenn didn’t seem happy about it.
  • October 19th, 2021, Blue Shark Show (which normally has Courtney Gore in the third seat), reviews School Board candidates. Gore and Melanie Graft are very positively featured. The dialogue lays out the agenda.
  • October 25th, 2021, Texas House Representative sent this letter to school districts all over the state of Texas, asking them to look into a list of 850 books. No one knows how Krause compiled the list.
  • November 1st, 2021, Governor Greg Abbott sends a letter to the Executive Director of the Texas Association of School Boards, seemingly trying to guilt them into doing something as an act of political theater. There is no “order” or “direct” in the letter.
  • November 2, 2021, Granbury ISD sees two new school board trustees elected. Here are a few of the elements they campaigned on.
  • November 3rd, 2021, Dan Troxell responds, letting Abbott know that isn’t what TASB does
  • November 5, 2021, Bookriot.com publishes their analysis of the 850 books on the Krause list. To the surprise of very few, over 60% of the books are on the list due to LGBTQ content, 14% are due to sex education, and 8% are due to Race and Racism. 15% are for unknown or miscellaneous reasons.
  • November 8th, 2021, the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) sends out a fundraising letter spelling out their goal, vouchers to decimate public education. They call out “indoctrination”, “Marxism”, “CRT”, “gender identity”, and yes, “pornography and explicit literature are in Texas public school libraries”. Kevin Roberts, the former CEO of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, is now the President of the Heritage Foundation. And, Tim Dunn has been the Vice-President on the Board of TPPF for more than a decade. Tim Dunn = Empower Texans = Texas Scorecard (watch for their articles below)
  • November 8th, 2021, Abbott now sends a letter to the Texas Education Agency, Texas State Library and Archives Commission, and Texas State Board of Education. Abbott does “direct”, but it isn’t telling districts to remove books from libraries.
  • Note that he still didn’t direct any districts in the state to remove any books
  • December 16th, 2021, the first mention of a potential Book Review Committee is mentioned in emails between the Superintendent and School Board Trustees, showing up as a mention in a summary of the December 13th board meeting / look ahead email.
  • December 19th, 2021, the Granbury ISD Superintendent sends a text message to the Assistant Superintendent and the Curriculum Director based on questions from a Trustee about books. NOTE: I’ve been trying since 1/11/2022 to get the text messages from “a trustee” to Jeremy Glenn. It is now 4/15/2022 and I still can’t seem to get Jeremy Glenn’s text messages, even after paying a $450 administrative fee to gather materials, which I was happy to pay if it provides transparency into what has happen. It kinda makes you think there might be something there they don’t want us to see.
  • These are the book titles sent to the Superintendent by a school board trustee. It is hard to see in the screen shots sent to the Superintendent, who copied them into the group text, but there are keywords that were part of their search highlighted (gay, gender, trans). You will also see stacking of the search results they were navigating through.
  • We know the date of the above messages are December 19th, 2021 due to this message between the same Assistant Superintendent and the Granbury High School librarian, which has the date included in the text message.
  • January 7th, 2022, Stacie Brown, GISD Curriculum Director, emails herself a link.
  • Following that link you find this (remember this quoted portion as we continue)
  • January 7th, 2022, prior to any public notice about the Book Review Committee, Melanie Graft proposes Monica Brown for the committee and is approved by Jeremy Glenn.
  • January 10th, 2022, a meeting occurs involving all librarians and at least some senior district leadership (you can skip ahead to why this is important by listening to this).
  • January 11th, 2022, books are reported to have been removed from shelves in at least the High School library. I filed a public information request that morning to find out what was happening and why.
  • January 11th, 2022, the Superintendent emails all trustees, letting them know the request has been filed, and references the Abbott letter from November 10th as the justification for the Book Review. You know, the “prosecute the porn” letter. In the letter, the Superintendent specifically says “we have identified about 75 books in our library that are pervasively vulgar or not educationally suitable for students in the accessible age group.” He also states that “ultimately, the decision to remove a book from our library will rest with the board of trustees”, which ends up being a lie. They hung any removals on the book review committee.
  • January 12th, 2022, the Superintendent is forwarded the poster for his speaking engagement with the Hood County Republican Club on 1/25/2022 by the School Board President.
  • On the flyer, the topics for Jeremy Glenn’s presentation:
  • January 12th, 2022, new school board trustee inquires into SEL (Social Emotional Learning, which is equated as being just another CRT in many right leaning groups) providers
  • January 13th, 2022, the Curriculum Director texts librarians to clarify the focus of reviewing books “should be based on the governors letters that specify “pornography””.
  • January 18th, 2022, an email is sent from the assistant to the Superintendent to Assistant Superintendent Tammy Clark, with a revised EF(Local) attached. There is also a comment from a policy consultant from the Texas Association of School Boards
  • In the attachment, there is a red-lined version of the policy, showing what was originally there and what was changed. There are only two adjustments made.
  • In the Formal Reconsideration section — Original: Upon receipt of the [challenge] form, the principal shall appoint a reconsideration committee. New: Upon receipt of the [challenge] form, the principal shall push the challenge to the reconsideration committee.
  • In the Guiding Principles, closing out the policy — Original: No challenged instructional resource shall be removed solely because of the ideas expressed therein. New: A district may remove materials because they are pervasively vulgar or based solely upon the educational suitability of the resource in question.
  • January 18th, 2022, the Hood County News publishes an article about the book removal / review. In the article, it is disclosed that there will be a review committee and interested parties should contact administration. In the article, the district acknowledged why there is a review.
  • January 19th, 2022, the Superintendent emails trustees, stating:
  • January 19th, 2022, the Superintendent sends an email to all GISD staff, referring to the school district as “our mission field”.
  • In the same letter, Glenn refers to “stand in the gap”, which is hyperlinked to this website
  • as well as a reference to “go the extra mile”, which is hyperlinked to this website
  • January 20th, 2022, the Superintendent reaches out to the Granbury High School principal to ask about a specific book, Until the End by Abbi Glines, which ultimately was the one held up in the January 24th meeting as an example of “books that are vulgar, and in my opinion pornographic”.
  • January 20th, 2022, the School Board President agrees with the Superintendent on removing books.
  • January 21st, 2022, the Superintendent tells the trustees who will be serving on the Book Review Committee. 7 members:
  • Here is an example of the standard rejection emails sent out on January 21st, 2022, to those individuals who have requested to be on the Book Review Committee.
  • January 21st, 2022, the School Board President responds to a note the Superintendent had sent the previous day, telling a potential Book Committee member they would not be on the committee with a form letter. It is certainly implied that the list had been established likely at least days earlier: “You showed it to me once but I have a terrible memory”
  • On the Book Review Committee, selection criteria is not made public. The process the committee will follow is not made public. The member’s names are not made public. It is an opaque process.
  • January 24th, 2022, the Superintendent sends the School Board President guidelines for public comment, I guess expecting the public speakers and audience to be unruly.
  • January 24th, 2022 at the Granbury school board meeting, multiple students and parents spoke against removing books. The Superintendent’s response received a lot of attention. The speakers were all very composed and deliberate. The Superintendent was not. You can see a compilation of things here:
  • January 24th, 2022, while I’m sitting in the school board meeting, I receive the information from my initial 1/11/2022 Public Information Request. In it, the district discloses that there have been ZERO requests from the community to review / remove books.
  • In the same response, the district discloses the titles being reviewed. They are almost all from the 850 book list released by Texas House Representative Matt Krause back on 10/25/21, just with the ones on Granbury ISD shelves, plus a few titles by Abbi Glines. This list is not disclosed to the public by the district until March 11, 2022. I disclosed the list January 25th, 2022 via my social media accounts.
  • The other thing that happens on 1/24/2022 is the school district calls for a $394 million bond election. This becomes a key focus point, not only for the Superintendent, but also for community leaders. The GISD4for1 PAC is immediately filed with the Texas Ethics Commission. The district can’t be directly involved with the PAC, but they were intimately involved with the formation of the PAC and its strategy, right up until the 1/24/2022 vote. Here is the initial email from Tom Mercer to the Superintendent and two school board trustees on 11/11/2021. There is heavy email traffic up through 1/25/2022.
  • January 25th, 2022, the Superintendent sends an email to all GISD staff, discussing the book removals / review. Note that the list has now grown to 130 titles (from the original 75 mentioned to trustees on 1/11/2022), but the titles are not ever disclosed to district personnel. Also, please go back to January 18th, and read the statement from the district that was in the Hood County News. What the district is “reviewing” has changed MARKEDLY. It has gone from “social and cultural issues are best left to parents” to now a focus on “overtly sexual conduct”. What happened in just a few days, other than students rightly speaking up about what kind of content would be reviewed for removal? It is likely simply the spotlight was shining, and the things they meant to do in the dark would now have to be in the light.
  • January 25th, 2022, the Superintendent spoke at the Hood County Republican Club. It really is something to watch. This isn’t my footage, so I apologize for the quality / sound. It was pulled from the livestream of the HCRC.
  • You can see some of the Superintendent’s comments here:
  • On or about January 27th, 2022, the Book Review Committee is officially expanded to 10 members, with the Chair as a non-voting member
  • Added are Keisha Kindred (Parent), Jana Reid (GISD High School English Teacher), and Margaret Rodriguez (GISD Principal)
  • The committee changing size, the new members being added, none of this is made public. The process is opaque.
  • January 27th, 2022, the Superintendent emails trustees to review the board meeting from January 24th. There is no mention of his conduct at the end of public comment. Simply that they are reviewing books, and the negative emails are dismissed as “mostly from outside Texas”, information was provided “from gas lighters in our community” and they are “uninformed on what is really happening in GISD”. The Superintendent tells them his focus on “academic improvement, keeping schools open, and our upcoming bond election”. [Editorial note: The bond really does seem to be the primary thing that matters to leadership here, not what is happening to kids and staff who might be in the minorities represented in those books.]
  • Also note the “brought to our attention as concerning” line. According to the 1/11 response, the answer to requests from the community to remove books was “none”.
  • January 27th, 2022, at 1:19pm, books were removed from the Granbury High School Library, and taken to the central administration offices to be reviewed by the newly formed Book Review Committee. Here is a picture taken by a student showing that removal.
  • January 28th, 2022, the Superintendent sends out an email to all Granbury ISD staff, talking about “core values”, “stand strong during these times of trial”, and being “authentic and fight for what I believe is right”. This doesn’t feel like someone who feels badly for what they are doing, who is hearing the feedback from students and staff and working to be more inclusive. This seems to be a Superintendent doubling down (but he doesn’t know there is audio from January 10th).
  • January 28th, 2022, the assistant to the Superintendent reaches out to all trustees, asking them to provide any text messages sent pertaining to the removal, review, or banning of books in Granbury ISD libraries. This is in response to my 1/11/2022 public information request, where I had received the initial group text from Stacie Brown (which included Jeremy Glenn and Tammy Clark), where Glenn claimed a trustee had sent him books for review. The timeframe requested was from November 11, 2021 — January 11, 2022, which definitely covers December 19th, 2021, when Glenn was texting Brown and Clark about the trustee reaching out.
  • Response from Courtney Gore on 1/28/2022 — I don’t believe I have anything.
  • Response from Barbara Herrington on 1/28/2022 — I have nothing.
  • Response from Barbara Townsend on 1/29/2022 — I have nothing.
  • Followed up on 1/31/2022 from Courtney Gore — I’ve only found what Dr. Glenn issued to all of us.
  • Reply on 1/31/2022 to Courtney Gore from Jeremy Glenn — I did not have anything responsive to those dates [NOTE: But on 12/19, he texted to Stacie Brown and Tammy Clark that a Trustee had reached out to him about books and included screenshots that he had been sent. How could there be nothing responsive? This means someone in the process is lying about things. Either the Superintendent did receive requests about books from a trustee and he’s not providing (and neither is the trustee), or he came up with the books himself (which seems odd based on his comment about not knowing about follett destiny), or he is actively deleting text messages as he goes to avoid having to provide them for public scrutiny. Also odd, notice the “responsive to those dates”.]
  • Reply on 1/31/2022 to Jeremy Glenn from Courtney Gore — I wasn’t paying attention to the date time frame.
  • Response on 1/31/2022 from Melanie Graft — I do not have anything.
  • February 1st, 2022, the Book Review Committee held their first meeting, lasting from 5pm to 7pm. In the purpose of the committee, they reviewed letters from Governor Abbott (captured at the top of this post) and the scope of the review being “written or visual material that depicts explicit sexual acts or overtly sexual conduct”. In the meeting, it is explained that if 4 members, less than a majority of the committee, vote to remove a book, it will be flagged as a removal for the school board. They are also told that the school board will make the final decisions, as their role is just to recommend. [Flash forward to 3/11/2022. The board never votes on the books. They allow the new policy discussed later to do the work for them.]
  • February 1st, 2022, the Superintendent sends out a note to trustees, updating on the Book Review Committee and their first meeting. 52 books were reviewed in 2 hours. 47 books were returned out of 52, and they “will go faster because they are taking home printed reviews of all remaining books”. This means the books are not being read in full by the committee. It is great that books are returned. The books never should have been removed in the first place. But if anything is being removed, including the Abbi Glines books, it must take the book in its full context. That didn’t happen.
  • February 7th, 2022, the Superintendent sends trustees a copy of the article from the Texas Tribune that touches on the views of the school board trustees, the book removals / reviews. There are no replies to this email from trustees.
  • February 9th, 2022, the Book Review Committee meets a second time. According to a district spokesperson, after this meeting almost 100 books in total had been identified to be returned to library shelves.
  • February 11th, 2022, the School Board President emails the Superintendent a copy of a Hood County News article discussing the book review process.
  • February 11th, 2022, the Superintendent sends out an email to all staff. In it, he includes a link to an article from far right “news” organization, the Texas Scorecard titled “Who Decides What Texas Kids Read In School?”, as well as a link to a story about Katy ISD removing books. [To me, this reads as a means to position things as “If others are doing it, we can’t be wrong.”]
  • February 11th, 2022, the Superintendent sends the School Board President an email with a draft of a response to a community member’s concern about the Hood County News article, and comments contained therein from a Book Review Committee member.
  • February 11th, 2022, the School Board President replies to the Superintendent, and states “those who believe we are attacking LGBTQ+ are wrong”. [emphasis by the Board President]
  • But of course based on the January 10th audio, which is released on March 23rd, we know this was the intent of the Superintendent
  • The original goal was an attack on LGBTQ+. That’s what the Superintendent was going for. He told a room full of librarians. The district’s statement to the Hood County News on January 18th definitely implied it. Is the School Board President out of the loop? Too willing to trust? What about once the audio is released? Stay tuned.
  • February 17th, 2022, the Superintendent sends board member Courtney Gore the list of 130 books under review. [I won’t copy the full list again. It’s what I received in my request back on 1/24. At this point, the district has still not made the list “public”, even though I did.]
  • February 17th, 2022, the Book Review Committee meets a 3rd time, the first with Monica Brown in attendance.
  • February 20th, 2022, Blue Shark Show, with sitting school board trustee Courtney Gore in the third seat, discusses the “liberal media” and book bans.
  • February 22nd, 2022, a request is sent out to the Superintendent and board trustees asking again for text messages or emails, now including from 10/25/2021 (the date of the Krause list being released) discussing book removals.
  • Reply from Jeremy Glenn on 2/22/2022— I do not have any text messages
  • Reply from Mark Jackson on 2/22/2022 — I have no texts. Only emails are one from Dr Glenn
  • Reply from Mike Moore on 2/22/2022 — I do not have any additional texts or emails
  • February 25th, 2022, the Superintendent sends out an email to all GISD staff. In it, he lists a summary of “10 Ways to be an All-Pro Dad” from a book by Tony Dungy. Item 9 (which is the only one I will capture) is imposing religious beliefs on staff.
  • The district never publicly acknowledges the letter. I’ve requested all correspondence between the Superintendent and trustees to cover this timeframe.
  • February 28th, 2022, Kennedy, a Granbury High School senior reads from the letter at the school board meeting.
  • March 1st, 2022, the Book Review Committee meets for the 4th time
  • March 4th, 2022, Book Review Committee member Monica Brown emails the Superintendent and Committee Chair. Glenn had offered to let her go back through books. She wants to take him up on it.
  • On or around March 4th, 2022, Stacie Brown, chair of the Book Review Committee sends out instructions on how to rate the 11 remaining books, with a form for members to complete (as they can’t meet in person).
  • March 7th — 10th, the Book Review Committee meets virtually, submitting votes for the 11 remaining books, which are quite illustrative.
  • Form from Michael Beauchamp (GISD High School Automotive Technology teacher)
  • Form from Monica Brown (No ties to GISD, placed by Melanie Graft)
  • In addition to the form, I believe Monica Brown submitted the following additional feedback on the books to Stacie Brown (I believe it is Monica due to her full removal request and the descriptions of the books)
  • Form from Jana Reid (Granbury ISD English Teacher)
  • Form from Jairo Martinez (GISD Elementary Teacher)
  • Form from Adina Brassie (GISD Librarian)
  • Form from Margaret Rodriguez (GISD Principal) (final book is cut off, but it was a vote to put “Back on the Shelf”
  • Form from Keisha Kindred (GISD Parent) (Sorry it’s hard to read, but that’s how it was in the document I received. But you can see that all books are to be returned to the shelf.)
  • I do not have the forms for Paul Hyde or Karen Lowery, but based on the sheets below, we know Hyde voted to return all 11 books, Lowery voted to remove 10 of 11.
  • Here is the full listing of books, with the vote totals on each book, and color coding for which book review meeting a decision was made.
  • March 11th, 2022, late in the afternoon on the Friday before Spring Break, Granbury ISD announces the book review is complete, and 3 additional books are banned from school libraries. This is the first time the district publicly announces the titles that have been under review.
  • The three titles banned are Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez (4 votes), We are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson (4 votes), and This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson (8 votes). Pay special attention to that last one, as it gets mentioned in just a moment and has been a target since the first text messages from a trustee to the Superintendent. I’ve read all three books in their entirety, meaning I have the full context of the work. None of the three are pornography. All three have literary and educational value. All are incredibly important.
  • The Book Review Committee was told their review was just a recommendation, and the board would vote on removal. In the 3/11 statement from the district, there is no mention of a board vote. There is a school board meeting on 3/21/2022, where the board could easily vote. They don’t.
  • The 3/11 statement from the district calls out times the public can see the banned books
  • As mentioned above, there is a school board meeting on 3/21, when the public could easily review the books. Why would they not make the books available for review when people will be there to see them? Perhaps they would rather people don’t see them? How could one still be able to say “we showed the books”, but not have many people there? Schedule the reviews on a Tuesday and Wednesday, while most people are still at work and not available. That is one way to limit exposure.
  • The information in the 3/11 statement is never sent out to parents or staff. Again, why? That is another way to limit exposure.
  • March 20th — March 21st, 2022, Monica Brown emails with Jeremy Glenn about the book review process, and how unhappy she is.
  • March 21st, 2022, at the school board meeting, multiple members of the community speak out against the books being removed. The board and Superintendent do not mention the book review process finishing, nor is it mentioned that the books will be available for review the following two days. The Superintendent goes out of his way to plug three upcoming town halls on the bond, and one on getting high schoolers ready for college. But nothing about the public book review. Why? That would be another way to limit exposure.
  • A Granbury High School Junior spoke at the 3/21/2022 meeting. The students won’t forget.
  • March 23rd, 2022, NBC News releases an article containing audio of Superintendent Jeremy Glenn addressing librarians on January 10th, 2022.
  • I’ll transcribe a few elements below. The bold elements are my emphasis.
  • March 23rd, 2022, Granbury ISD releases a statement on the article. The statement only provides one sentence related to the audio, which doesn’t really address it at all. It’s nonsense.
  • In the district statement, they include a link to an article from far right “news” organization, the Texas Scorecard titled “Granbury ISD Pulls Porn From School Libraries”. In the article, Superintendent Jeremy Glenn is quoted saying “You can take a stand on controversial issues and win elections.” So is that what this is about?
  • March 25, 2022, Tom Mercer, one of the initial GISD4for1 PAC drivers and a realtor / developer with Granbury Realty emails the PAC members, speaking about the article: “I think that this might actually be a good thing for the bonds vote. We just got the conservative vote.”
  • In reply to Mercer, Chad Ammons of A+ Roofing and Construction and GISD4for1 PAC member, chimes in with “Definitely right Tom”
  • Replying to Ammons, Anthony White, VP of the Fort Worth Police Officers Association and GISD4for1 PAC member, adds “Always remember, in political campaigns, exposure like this is often great for what we want to achieve.”
  • Leaders and members of the GISD4for1 PAC are celebrating a Superintendent getting caught bullying teachers to “just hide it” if they believe something different, and making homophobic and transphobic statements. Is it because they just want to win an election? Or is what he said, what he did, something these community leaders are really ok with?
  • March 25, 2022, Blue Shark Show, with sitting school board trustee Courtney Gore in the third chair, discusses the audio release of Jeremy Glenn.
  • March 29th, 2022, three former school board trustees write an open letter to the Granbury ISD school board, focusing on the words and conduct of Jeremy Glenn, call for him to resign, or failing that for the school board to remove him.
  • On the Blue Shark Media post above, from March 25th, in a comment on Facebook, the School Board President announces that she “and the entire board are behind Dr. Glenn”.
  • March 30th, 2022, the School Board President responds to the open letter, stating “our school board has full confidence in our administrative team and teaching staff to provide all students with a safe and secure learning environment”.

And now we wait to see what happens next…

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I chart Texas Politics at christackettnow.com and write about things that matter (to me at least) whenever the muse hits.

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Chris Tackett

Chris Tackett

I chart Texas Politics at christackettnow.com and write about things that matter (to me at least) whenever the muse hits.