Some parents in the Waller County ISD are working to have obscene books removed from school library shelves.
A group of concerned parents is working with Waller Independent School District officials to review and remove materials considered obscene from school libraries.
Lesha Roberts, an organizer of the Waller County Patriots, said efforts to review and identify obscene material began at the start of the school year. One of the parents, she said, was concerned by what he was reading in books available at the school libraries.
Last month, she said, this parent raised the issue with trustees at their monthly school board meeting.
Last Monday, at their most recent meeting, trustees and Superintendent Kevin Moran heard some of the offensive material. The group last Tuesday held a public forum on inappropriate content at the Waller County Civic Center in Waller.
“We extended an invitation to the superintendent to our public forum,” Roberts said. “He came, and he gave us his opinion. He set up a book review committee and wants to open it up to parents in January.”
She said the district is working to create a way in which parents can go to the district website and express their concerns about something offensive they might see in the children’s books.
“It was really a way to educate parents and community members on how we can work with the schools,” Roberts said. “He was clearly horrified by the materials that were read at that meeting. These books are in packages from the Texas school board, and districts by them sight unseen.”
Among the books cited for obscenity were “Monday’s Not Coming,” by Tiffany D. Jackson, “Murder Trending,” by Gretchen McNeil, “Beyond Magenta: Transgendered Teens Speak Out” by Susan Kukllin, and “The Bluest Eye,” by Toni Morrison.
Roberts said it was astonishing that obscene content would be in school libraries.
“You hear this going around, but you don’t expect it to be in your small-town community,” Roberts said. “We reached out, set up a meeting, and we are working pretty diligently to resolve the situation.”
The biggest issue, she said, was wanting to know who actually ordered the books. She said one parent filed a Freedom of Information request to learn this information.
“The schools are not necessarily responsible for ordering the books,” Roberts said. “It comes from the State Board of Education. It’s a big problem. What is the State Board of Education sending to the schools as an option for schools to buy.?”
Robert seemed pleased with how the group’s efforts are going.
“I think locally were having a good response,” Roberts said. “Two of our members are going to run for the school board next year. I don’t know enough about the school board members to know how involved they are in this.”
Roberts said Moran has reacted quickly to the expressed concerns and that there will be a review process for the packets.
“They’re not just going to buy these packets,” Roberts said. “I think that’s gong to be huge if that takes place. There’s a difference in censoring literature and graphic material. In my opinion, if people want to read this material, they can get it themselves. We don’t need taxpaper money purchasing this obscene material, and it’s graphic.”
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