The Road to an “Education Destination”

I am directing the Texas Education Agency, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, and the State Board of Education to immediately develop statewide standards to prevent the presence of pornography and other obscene content in Texas public schools, including in school libraries.

I am directing the Texas Education Agency to investigate any criminal activity in our public schools involving the availability of pornography.

Often challenges are motivated by a desire to protect children from “inappropriate” sexual content or “offensive” language. The following were the top three reasons cited for challenging materials as reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom:

1. the material was considered to be “sexually explicit”

2. the material contained “offensive language”

3. the materials was “unsuited to any age group”

Although this is a commendable motivation, Access to Library Resources and Services for Minors, an interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights (ALA’s basic policy concerning access to information) states that, “Librarians and governing bodies should maintain that parents — and only parents — have the right and the responsibility to restrict the access of their children — and only their children — to library resources.” Censorship by librarians of constitutionally protected speech, whether for protection or for any other reason, violates the First Amendment.

As Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., in Texas v. Johnson, said most eloquently: “If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.”

What measures are being taken by GISD to ensure our children are not being taught a “WOKE” curriculum such as CRT, White Privilege, or any other form of racism

Are our School Libraries safe from LGBTQ ideology

Explain the new Bond being proposed and how it will affect GISD taxes

Typically, you don’t want to change policy in the middle of controversy

The books in question are vulgar and have no place in a public school library.

In my opinion, the problem is not that we are removing the books, but questioning how anyone ever believed they were ever appropriate to be placed on our shelves.

Stacie Brown (GISD Curriculum Director) to chair the committee

Paul Hyde (GISD Parent)

Monica Brown (No ties to GISD, placed by Melanie Graft)

Karen Lowery (No ties to GISD, previously placed on SHAC Committee by Melanie Graft)

Adina Brassie (GISD Librarian)

Jairo Martinez (GISD Elementary Teacher)

Michael Beauchamp (GISD High School Automotive Technology teacher)

We must be careful not to overreact when we read something we do not agree with.

I think specifically what we are getting at, let’s just call it what it is. I’m cutting to the chase on a lot of this. It’s the transgender, LGBTQ, and the sex, sexuality in books.

All removed books must be placed back on Granbury ISD shelves as swiftly as possible, and the district must revert to its prior policy for challenges to library books and disband its newly created library review committee. The district must publicly acknowledge these errors and affirm its commitment to LGBTQ+ and racial inclusivity and teaching the history of racism and racial injustice in the United States. These steps are necessary for Granbury ISD to comply with the First Amendment.

The district will hold a public inspection of books designated for removal on Tuesday, March 22 and Wednesday, March 23 from 3:00–5:00 P.M. each day at the Administration Building.

I want to talk about our community.

If you do not know this, you’ve been probably under a rock, but Granbury is a very very conservative community. And our board is very very conservative. And you may agree with that, and you can shake your head and say, I agree, I’m conservative too. Or you may say, I don’t agree with that at all, and that’s not what I believe. If it is not what you believe, you better hide it. Because, it ain’t changing in Granbury. And here, in this community, we’ve going to be conservative. I’m not saying that we’ve going to be pulling all our books out, or burning books or anything like that, absolutely not. I think there is an absolute place probably for every book. It just may not be in a public school library.

And now I’m going to get into a little personal. So, when you search our databases, there is a book, and this was forwarded to me by a trustee, the title of the book is “This Book Is Gay”. Whatever. When you read the I guess synopsis of it, it says, “This book provides answers to questions about homosexuality, bi-sexuality, and transgender people. From sex to politics, hooking up to stereotypes, coming out and more. This is an exploration of sexuality and what it’s like to grow up LGBTQ. Also includes real stories from people across the gender and sexual spectrums, not to mention hilarious illustrations.” That book does not need to be on our shelves. I don’t want a kid picking up a book, whether it’s about homosexuality or heterosexuality, and reading about how to hook up sexually in our libraries.

And I’m going to take it a step further with you. You can disagree if you want. There are two genders. There is male. And there is female. And, I acknowledge there are men that think they are women, and women that think they are men. And I, again, I don’t have any issues with what people want to believe, but there is no place for it in our libraries. If parents make an outcry, about a child who needs to have conversations as it relates to their gender or their sexuality, we have a counseling staff in place. The library is not a place for them to go get that. We are an academic institution. Our libraries will be treated as such. If they want to get more information about how to become transgender or sex, go to the public library. There is no place for it in our libraries.

We are forming a review committee which will be made up of parents and educators. We are going to pull books off of the shelves, especially the 850 books that were put forth by Representative Krause, we will pull any of those books in our libraries, plus any that we think that do not conform. We will let the committee go through them, and if they are ok with it, we will put them back on the shelves. Otherwise, we are going to keep our focus on academics.

You guys are our gatekeepers. And I just needed you to know what the expectation is for our community, and what the expectation is from this administration. And that will keep you out of a bind, and me out of a bind. And if you don’t like it, you are welcome to come visit with me in my office. I will talk it through, but it’s probably not changing. Because it’s not just coming from me. I’m just bringing the message of what really is the expectation from our board.

So I think books about cultures are alright. I think specifically what we are getting at, let’s just call it what it is. I’m cutting to the chase on a lot of this. It’s the transgender, LGBTQ, and the sex, sexuality in books. That’s what the governor has said he will prosecute people for, and that’s what we are pulling out.

The district is aware of comments made by the superintendent in an effort to comply with Governor Abbott’s request that pornographic and sexually explicit books be reviewed and possibly removed from public school libraries.

And now we wait to see what happens next…

remove materials because they are pervasively vulgar or based solely upon the educational suitability of the resource in question.

A district shall not remove materials from a library for the purpose of denying students access to ideas with which the district disagrees.

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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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