As Texas parents are discovering explicit and pornographic material being distributed in school libraries, Gov. Greg Abbott has now responded by writing a letter.
On Monday, Abbott sent a letter to the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) Executive Director Dan Troxell, reminding him that the membership of his organization has a purview over whether explicit material can exist in public school libraries for consumption by Texas students.
“A growing number of parents of Texas students are becoming increasingly alarmed about some of the books and other content found in public school libraries that are extremely inappropriate in the public education system,” said Abbott.
Texas Scorecard previously reported on explicit material found within Keller ISD. The book, “Gender Queer“—a graphic novel aimed at young adult readers—depicts explicit illustrations of adolescents performing various sex acts.
However, Keller ISD isn’t the only district in the state offering pornographic books to minors. Dallas ISD and Austin ISD are also making it available in several school libraries—and both districts even provide it to kids in middle school.
A few days later, Republican State Rep. Jeff Cason (Bedford) requested that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton open a statewide investigation into explicit books in school libraries.
The letter from Abbott continued:
Collectively, your organization’s members have an obligation to determine the extent to which such materials exist or are used in our schools and to remove any such content. You must also ensure transparency about the materials being taught in the classroom and being offered in school libraries. Also, each of our schools should have an appropriate and transparent process to vet library materials before they are used. You have an obligation to Texas parents and students to ensure that no child in Texas is exposed to pornography or other inappropriate content while inside a Texas public school.
Cason took to Twitter to criticize Abbott’s approach as one that was “not really going to accomplish much, but it does look good on Twitter.”
2/ Asking a politicized TASB is not really going to accomplish much, but it does look good on Twitter.
Stand with me in my request to AG Paxton to help formally end this mess. If Gov Abbott wants to rid schools of porn then we need legislation, not a letter to TASB. #txlege
— Jeff Cason (@JeffCasonTexas) November 1, 2021
Abbott’s letter can be viewed here: