x
Breaking News
More () »

Author's books pulled from Katy ISD shelves, speaking engagement postponed over critical race theory concerns

Some Katy ISD parents said a planned virtual visit from award-winning author Jerry Craft had them concerned.

KATY, Texas — An author's book has been taken off shelves and his speaking engagement has been postponed over complaints that it promotes critical race theory.

Katy Independent School District parent Bonnie Anderson said a virtual visit from award-winning author Jerry Craft during her elementary-aged children’s school day had her concerned.

“I just don’t see the interactions with this particular author and his material as appropriate for children in a tax-payer funded school,” Anderson said.

So, Anderson started a petition to move the Zoom webinar outside of school hours. The petition has since been removed.

Another parent filed a complaint about Craft's books being available in the school library. The parent expressed concern that students would be "brainwashed."

“I’ve told so many parents who disagree with me on these books that critical race theory in any form or fashion is inappropriate for children,” Anderson said.

Katy ISD said Craft's books are now under review and his speaking engagement has been postponed. Katy ISD said it has been in contact with Craft to get the webinar rescheduled in the near future.

According to Dr. Vida Robertson who heads the University of Houston Downtown’s Center for Critical Race Studies, there’s a difference between critical race theory and the narrative in Craft’s work.

“Critical race theory is interested in structures of society, it’s interested in the way that we are organized as a nation, interested in the way that that systems and institutions engage in oppression. It would not necessarily be characterized by an individual’s life story,” Robertson said.

The book that's under scrutiny is Craft's narrative of an African-American student switching schools.

Dr. Creshema Murray said it's simply his life story.

“How do I separate an academic and legal concept from me being a human being?" Murray said.

A Note from Jerry Craft - Intellectual Freedom Blog

Craft’s publicist pointed KHOU 11 to a statement from the author who said, in part, “what has not changed are my goals for my books: helping kids become the kind of readers that I never was; letting kids see themselves on my pages…”