TEXAS, USA — The Katy Independent School District has made six books unavailable to its students after parents addressed their concerns about "inappropriate" content during a school board meeting on Monday.
"At yesterday’s Board meeting, several patrons expressed concerns regarding six secondary library books containing inappropriate language and content. Katy ISD conducts internal reviews when concerns are brought forward, and per the District’s EF Local policy pertaining to formal book challenges. These six books are currently unavailable for student access," the district said in a statement released Tuesday.
The content read aloud from the books was so explicit, we couldn't air it on TV or post it online.
"It is completely unacceptable to have books of pornographic and sexual content materials in our school,” one parent said.
Textbooks were on the State Board of Education’s agenda Tuesday afternoon and many of the public comments were from people primarily opposed to sexual content in public schools.
"The children of Texas deserve better than the content of these materials," one speaker said.
“Social media and other platforms constantly inundate our children with sexually charged messages," another said. Due to this oversaturation, there is no benefit to pushing human sexuality in the classroom.”
The board is currently reviewing, among other things, some sex education curriculum. But Gov. Greg Abbott also wants more state oversight of school library books and the removal of overtly sexual content.
Additionally, there’s an ongoing investigation by a Texas House committee into about 850 different books, including four by young adult fiction writer Robin Talley.
"Kids are talking about all kinds of topics, they’re thinking about all kinds of topics," Talley said during a recent interview about the list of books. "And politicians are not the ones who should be deciding what they can't read.”
Houston ISD superintendent Millard House said he would do whatever is necessary to monitor inappropriate content when it comes up.
"I haven't read every book in HISD," House said. "My expectation is that we wouldn’t have such content. But if we do we’ll do what’s necessary to make certain it does not exist.”
As for textbooks, individual districts can still select their own books in addition to what the state board may adopt.