This week, thousands of taxpayer-funded K-12 school librarians across the state gathered in Fort Worth at a conference that celebrated hazardous sexual behaviors and defended offering sexually explicit books to students.
The Texas Library Association’s annual conference this week hosted a variety of eyebrow-raising activities, with featured speakers such as Dr. Ibram X. Kendi (an apologist for the hotly contentious critical race theory ideology), as well as adult entertainers Justin Johnson and Joseph Hoselton. Johnson and Hoselton headlined TLA’s “After Hours Keynote” and “Drag Queen Story Hour” events.
“WE LOVE @AlyssaEdwards_1 at @TXLA!!! #TexasQueen #TxLA22,” tweeted public elementary school librarian Carolyn Slavin.
“The @AlyssaEdwards_1 After Hours event was exactly what I needed,” added high school librarian Rachael Welsh.
It’s unclear if TLA—the largest state library association in the U.S. with more than 6,000 members from taxpayer-funded school and government libraries—considered showcasing any other “adult entertainers” in addition to the crossdressers.
TLA’s conference also included sessions on promoting LGBT sexual behaviors and keeping controversial pornographic materials on kids’ school bookshelves. One such book is “Gender Queer,” a graphic novel aimed at young adult readers and depicting explicit illustrations of two adolescent boys performing various sex acts.
“Maia Kobabe’s Gender Queer is 2021’s most challenged book. Winner of an Alex Award and a Stonewall Award. Find resources to defend this graphic novel in your schools and libraries,” posted American Library Association’s “Office for Intellectual Freedom,” which presented on the topic at the conference.
“Why would you defend this?” replied one citizen, who shared obscene screenshots from the book.
Additionally, TLA instructed librarians how to teach young children to be “fluent in the language and ideas of social justice”—a buzzword for leftist ideologies such as critical race theory, which states that individuals should be promoted or punished because of the color of their skin.
On book banning: That’s like me calling Walmart and say, “I don’t eat steak, so you should take all the meat off your shelves.”- Justin Johnson/Alyssa Edwards. #TXLA22 #TLATogetherAgain pic.twitter.com/U0sOBJdO6j
— Cynthia Ramos (@librarianRamos) April 26, 2022
Meanwhile, outside the conference hall, parents across Texas are asking school officials to do the exact opposite: stop forcing LGBT sexual conduct and racist ideologies on kids, and remove books that graphically illustrate or depict pedophilia between teachers and students, incest, rape, sex acts between minors, and other explicit scenes.
“These are not nonfiction sex education books; these pose no direct educational use. These are books that should be in an adult section of Barnes & Noble, but unfortunately, they’re in our libraries,” said Fredericksburg parent Tara Petsch, who recently organized the community to speak out to the school district.
“We’ve never asked for book banning. We’ve never asked for book burning. We’ve asked for book boundaries. We want age-appropriate books in our children’s libraries. That’s all we’re asking,” Tara continued, adding, “Newspapers can’t print this material, and you’d be arrested if you gave it to a child on the street. So, why is this in our children’s library?”
The TLA also started a “grassroots coalition” to keep such materials available to kids at school. It’s unclear whether the organization would again recruit drag queens to host those story times.
Citizens concerned about their local school districts sending librarians to the TLA conference on the taxpayers’ dime may contact their local school board.