Looking at Keller ISD’s school board, I hear the old advert line, “You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby”. Keller’s school board is not the bored, vaguely dishonest, den of dingbats and vipers that it once was when I was a Keller student.

Under its current leadership, which was dually brought to power with the backing of parents and financial support from Patriot Mobile (a conservative telecom company), the school board has taken bold steps to realign itself with the community’s traditional valuesand to stand up for parental rights. In the last year alone, the school district has banned transgender ideology, removed erotica from library shelves, challenged the state’s Robinhood program that takes money away from Keller students and gives it to other districts, and hung In God We Trust signs in our school’s entryways. If the school board were a band performing at Keller Tavern, I’d say “Bravo!” and demand an encore.

This is a stark contrast to the Keller ISD of the 2010s. When I was a student at Keller High, a motivational speaker briefly suggested (among other innocuous things) that students could lean on Jesus when they faced adversity. To Michael Nasra, our principal at the time, this was intolerable, he ran to the media with a statement about how “we celebrate diversity” and “we are disappointed by the speaker’s lack of sensitivity and respect for all beliefs”.

“We” was too broad of a phrase. We (the community’s students) thought nothing of it, he (a singular administrator who came to the district from Houston) found the speaker’s comments “disappointing”. Nasra did not seem to notice, as one parent told the Star-Telegram, “Diversity includes being a Christian”.

Subsequently, administrators at other schools in the district ran wild, allowing the school announcements to broadcast neo-Marxist “anti-racist” propaganda, while teachers hung Black Lives Matter and Gay Pride flags in their classrooms. This came as librarians stuffed shelves with books parents have correctly identified as pornography, among other scandals.

The district’s insular corps of unelected administrators began to demonstrate what Melanie Phillips, the British intellectual and writer has correctly identified as the problem in education today, “Education was once the transmission of a culture across generations, now it is the overturning of a culture”.

This is why I was shocked to see ABC’s Nightly News smearing Keller ISD, as well as Southlake-Carroll and Grapevine, as if it was captured by jihadis for Jesus. Keller, like other communities in the region, is an overwhelmingly Christian town and it rightly finds racist progressive policies and gender-ideology nonsense detestable. The school board’s efforts have been right to realign the district with the community’s values and to be unashamed of doing so.

This came just weeks after ABC13 Houston, previously falsely smeared Keller ISD as having banned the Bible. It appears the American Broadcasting Company cannot get its story straight. Is Keller captured by the Trinitarian Taliban or are its Christians suffering under senseless censorship of its holy texts? ABC and its affiliates cannot decide.

The school board should continue its work, and it can start by taking a note from Keller High’s English Department. The reading list for Keller High School’s English Department is about the same today as it was when I went there, and it includes some of the greatest works of anti-communist literature including Ayn Rand’s Anthem and (some years) George Orwell’s Animal Farm. This should be the recommended reading list for every high school in the district and the board should consider expanding it to include other great works that depict the best of American and Southern cultural values, tales of perseverance, self-reliance, heroism and honor.

In the meantime, as someone who has done it in the past, it is worth noting that Keller School’s Libraries take donations. If you are in the community and want to help reshape the messages being sent to our students, consider making donations.

The contacts for the districts School board members are: 

Trustee Ruthie Keyes, Place 7: ruthie.keyes@kellerisd.net

President Charles Randklev, Place 6: charles.randklev@kellerisd.net

Trustee Chris Coker, Place 5: chris.coker@kellerisd.net

Trustee John Birt, Place 4: john.birt@kellerisd.net

Vice President Sandi Walker, Place 3: sandi.walker@kellerisd.net

Secretary Joni Shaw Smith, Place 2: joni.smith@kellerisd.net

Trustee Micah Young, Place 1: micah.young@kellerisd.net

For the libraries, the contacts are: 

KISD Facilitator Library Services

Keller High School Librarian

Lauren Stutler, MLS, M.Ed: Lauren.Stutler@kellerisd.net

Central High School Librarian

Timber Creek High School Library Media Technology Specialist

Kelley Brentlinger: beth.brentlinger@kellerisd.net

Fossil Rim High School Library Media Technology Specialist

Diana Colby: diana.colby@kellerisd.net

This is a commentary published with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to submission@texasscorecard.com.

Kellen McGovern Jones

Kellen McGovern Jones is a graduate student of Public Administration at The University of Alabama and a life-long Texan.


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