An undeniable trend continues sweeping school districts across the country. From Loudoun County, Virginia, to Leander, Texas, parents have begun taking a closer look at the curriculum and material presented to their children within the classroom. The revelations arising from these inquiries have led many parents to take action.
The list of Texas school districts where parents are exposing the harmful content made available to their children continues to grow. Hidden within a seemingly safe environment designed for education, concerned parents in Keller, Waller, and now Tyler ISD have discovered material in school libraries containing pornographic instances of sexual intercourse. Content written specifically for young readers, tainted with pornographic imagery and illustrations, is readily available to students across Texas.
Outrage following the discovery of pornography in Keller ISD libraries prompted Gov. Greg Abbott to write a letter to the Texas Education Agency (TEA), asking for guidance going forward. However, Abbott’s request for a process that “includes parents” and is “transparent” has no timeline for implementation. As a result, parents and grassroots organizations have taken matters into their own hands.
This week, the Texas Freedom Coalition (TFC)—a group that describes itself as a “grassroots organization that stands for personal liberty—has brought continuous attention on social media to the presence of pornography within Tyler ISD. The group has documented numerous instances of books in Tyler schools depicting graphic, sexually explicit, and even pedophilic content to Texas students.
However, Cody Grace, a Democrat running against State Rep. Matt Schaefer (R–Tyler) for Texas House District 6, condemned the Texas Freedom Coalition and accused them of using “extremist rhetoric.”
A post on the Cody Grace for Texas House Facebook account reads:
There is a national phenomenon that is starting to hit us locally. Extremist rhetoric is attempting to influence our school board and making it harder for our teachers to do their jobs. This is making it harder for our kids to be successful and lowering our student outcomes.
This week a group called Texas Freedom Coalition made a push to remove books from our school libraries. Our school system caved to this pressure and started to remove books from our school libraries.
TFC Director of Advocacy Sarah Fields responded with her own post. “Are you not running for office? I would think that YOU of ALL people would be for protecting children from sexually explicit material,” Fields stated. “Especially material that encourages pedophilia. One of the books very specifically discusses a ‘safe’ sexual scenario involving a grown man with a child.”
Texas Freedom Coalition has also launched an inquiry regarding a list of 17 books available in Tyler ISD campus libraries. At a school board meeting on Monday, numerous parents expressed their concern for the books in question.
Tyler ISD Superintendent Marty Crawford released a statement regarding those books:
Tyler ISD is aware of the Legislative committee and the Texas governor statewide inquiries concerning appropriateness of library curriculum materials. The board and district administration are in agreement with our community that resources, curriculum products and classroom instruction should be in alignment with local and public expectations.
In a Wednesday afternoon press release, the Texas Freedom Coalition reported that following the Monday school board meeting, two of the sexually explicit books have been removed from the library at Legacy High School.
House District 6 covers the bottom half of Smith County in East Texas and overlaps entirely with Texas Congressional District 1. Incumbent U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert recently announced an “exploratory campaign” to pursue the possibility of running for Texas attorney general.
Should the congressman vacate his seat to do so, it is possible that Schaefer may leave his House seat to run for Gohmert’s congressional seat. In this event, Sarah Fields is prepared to take on Democrat challenger Cody Grace herself.
“If Matt Schaefer decides that he will step away from District 6 to run for Congress and you try to slide in, I will run against you. We do not want someone who does not protect children to be a House Representative in the state of Texas.”
The deadline for candidate filing is December 13, 2021.