As communities throughout Texas condemn public schools for keeping inappropriate books in their libraries, Fort Worth ISD came under fire this week for giving students access to the sexually explicit book “Flamer.”
In a series of Twitter posts sharing images from the obscene book, Fort Worth grassroots activist Carlos Turcios reported that “Flamer” was available at Amon Carter-Riverside High School, Morningside Middle School, and the Young Men’s Learning Academy. Turcios condemned the district for allowing students to check out inappropriate materials.
“Why does FWISD continue to have books that are inappropriate for minors?” asked Turcios. “@FortWorthISD when will you remove this disgusting book?”
Written by Mike Curato, “Flamer” is categorized as a young adult graphic novel and chronicles the experiences of main character Aiden Navarro as he attends summer camp before starting ninth grade. According to the book’s description, as Navarro “navigates friendships, deals with bullies, and spends time with Elias (a boy he can’t stop thinking about), he finds himself on a path of self-discovery and acceptance.”
The graphic novel features scenes depicting discussions of sexually explicit topics, partial nudity, and allusions to masturbation.
However, according to the district’s online catalog, “Flamer” is not the only library book promoting radical gender ideology and inappropriate content to minors attending Fort Worth ISD schools.
At Amon Carter-Riverside High School, students can check out “Two Boys Kissing,” “Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights,” and “Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out.” Students also have access to more than 135 other books tagged as “LGBTQIA+.”
The high school’s library also provides students with more than 200 books categorized as “mature content,” which includes works containing violence and sexually explicit themes.
This is not Fort Worth ISD’s first time facing controversy.
Local parents have previously sounded the alarm over radical ideologies in the district, including training for English as a Second Language teachers that featured children’s books with scenes of cross-dressing, “coming out,” and illegal immigration.
The district’s new superintendent, Dr. Angélica Ramsey, called for the system to be “reinvented” because “the truth is that black, brown, and poor kids in this country do not get the education they deserve because we’re in a system that wasn’t built for us.”
Ramsey also dismissed parents concerned with these radical ideologies as “haters.”
As Fort Worth ISD’s students deliver declining test scores—only 38 percent of students can read at grade level—the district and its school board will have to decide if focusing on radical ideologies instead of reading and mathematics is the right strategy for students.
Turcios called for FWISD parents to get involved and speak up about sexually explicit books in their children’s libraries.
“I believe it’s inappropriate for such books being in any school,” said Turcios. “Books that depict anything sexual should not be in public school libraries that can be obtained by minors. I hope parents and the community reach out to the Board and address this problem.”