PLANO—After waiting five hours for a chance to speak, Plano parents blasted their elected school board trustees for failing to remove dozens of books that the district has acknowledged are sexually explicit but still decided to keep in students’ libraries.
“You are sexualizing our children and you need to stop!” Plano mom Karri Weadon told trustees and Superintendent Theresa Williams.
“Look at me, you look at me. This is wrong,” Weadon said.
Look at my face. I’m a mom of three kids. You know about this. We have been speaking about this in school board meetings since February. You need to get off your high horse, stop treating us like peasants, and do what parents want. Do you understand?
Weadon was among the 40-50 parents and community members who showed up to the Plano Independent School District board meeting Tuesday night.
Almost all of the 19 citizens who signed up to speak during public comments questioned the decision to retain library books rated as “very explicit” and “intended to titillate or shock the reader” by the district’s own review committee.
Several were with conservative advocacy group CDF–Collin County, which has helped organize efforts to remove inappropriate material from schools.
Plano mom Lisa Smith, who initiated the review process by challenging 70 explicit books in August 2022, also attended.
Multiple people read aloud explicit passages from books they described as “reviewed and approved by Plano ISD.”
CDF member Shannon Ayres read a passage from “Lucky” at last month’s board meeting.
“This book is extremely graphic, extremely disturbing, and still available in Plano ISD to minors,” Ayres told the board Tuesday night.
The meeting began at 5:30 p.m., but Ayres and others were forced to wait until 10:30 p.m. to start speaking, as the district puts public comments on non-agenda items at the end of board meetings. The comments are limited to 30 minutes total, so speakers on Tuesday were each limited to one-and-a-half minutes.
During the meeting, attendees noted that trustees looked bored, wouldn’t make eye contact, and didn’t seem to be listening. Trustee Michael Cook even appeared to fall asleep while parents were speaking.
For the past two years, parents in Plano and across the state have been objecting to books containing graphic descriptions and illustrations of sex acts being made available to minors at taxpayers’ expense and pleading with school officials to remove them.
Even so, parents say the law already allows school officials to remove material that is harmful to minors or has no educational value.
“You could change this today,” parents shouted to trustees as the meeting adjourned. “Fix this now!”
“Who needs HB900?” Ayres said after the meeting. “What we need are leaders who represent the values of the communities they were elected to serve. These board members have always had the power to remove this filth. They’ve chosen not to. We The People must demand better. That’s what we did tonight.”