Following months of public pressure, Plano Independent School District officials say they will remove dozens of sexually explicit books from campus libraries—a big win for local parents, students, and conservative activists.

In an email Wednesday, the district finally responded to parents’ request that 67 titles containing graphic sex and other inappropriate content be reconsidered for removal.

Plano ISD’s Director of Learning Media Services Julie Briggs said that the district had applied “updated procedures” to “all previously challenged titles that were not initially removed from our collections.”

The email included a link to the district’s Library Material Review Results page.

According to the grassroots group Citizens Defending Freedom, which helped Plano families raise awareness about the sexual content of books available to students, 64 of the 67 explicit titles in question have been identified for removal.

Briggs said the review procedures were updated “in accordance with our existing Board Policy and therefore did not require Board approval,” allowing the district to “move quickly to address these concerns without having to wait for a Board meeting.”

Parents are happy with the results but say they should not have needed to spend months publicly pressuring Plano ISD officials to do their job.

At the district’s October school board meeting, parents blasted district officials including Superintendent Theresa Williams for ignoring their pleas and failing to remove books that the district’s own review committee had acknowledged were “very explicit.”

Briggs’ email said that Plano ISD officials are “committed to our community values, the wellbeing of our students, and do not condone having any sexually explicit content in our libraries or schools.”

Until now, the district’s actions have not matched that statement.

For the past two years, parents in Plano and across the state have spoken out against books containing graphic descriptions and illustrations of sex acts being made available to minors at taxpayers’ expense.

Plano mom Lisa Smith challenged 70 explicit books in August 2022. Under the district’s previous review process, almost all the titles were kept despite their explicit content.

Since then, Plano parents continued to call for action, aided by grassroots advocacy groups like CDF.

Shannon Ayres, who leads the Education Division for the CDF–Collin County chapter, has helped families in Plano and other local districts organize efforts to remove inappropriate material from their schools.

“It is our hope at CDF that other districts in the county will learn from what has occurred in Plano and will follow their lead in removing this filth from their library collections,” said Ayres.

Briggs said Plano ISD “will continue to work through the remainder of our collections to identify any other titles for which availability should be adjusted as a result of the updates to our procedures.”

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.