Abbott says 'pornographic' content shouldn't be in schools


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) wrote on Monday that “pornographic or obscene material” has no place in schools and said school boards have a responsibility to protect children from "inappropriate content."

The governor did not mention specific books or topics, but his letter to the Texas Association of School Boards comes as a Texas House committee investigates books that "might make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex.” 

“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,” Abbott wrote.

Abbott also pointed out in the letter that school libraries are governed by their local school districts, following guidelines set by the Texas State Library and State Board of Education. 

Though the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) has no specific role in approving texts or curriculum in the state's schools, Abbot urged the group "to determine the extent to which such materials exist or are used in our schools and to remove any such content."

"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," the governor added. 

TASB officials were reportedly confused on receipt of Abbott's letter since "their organization has no regulatory authority over school districts," Theresa Gage, a spokeswoman for the group, told The Dallas Morning News.

“Of course, school board trustees care deeply about parent concerns and community input,” she said. “That’s why local school boards have policies and processes in place for parents to express their concerns about any matter affecting their local school community — including the challenge of library materials.”

Abbott's letter follows a Texas state House committee announcing an investigation into books on school library shelves in the state.

Texas Rep. Matt Krause (R) wrote a letter to the Texas Education Agency and school superintendents to identify the number of copies of hundreds of books that he outlined, which he said deal with sexuality, sexually transmitted disease, AIDS and HIV and race, and to state how much money was paid by the district to purchase those books. 

Many of the books date back to the 1960s and some notable titles include "The Handmaid's Tale," "V for Vendetta" and "The Confessions of Nat Turner". 

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post