There are all sorts of inappropriate material showing up on the shelves of public schools. Some of it is being released by publishers of pornography, even if specific books don’t contain any pornography. Texas has decided that they won’t stand for such a thing.
Too many liberal school districts don’t care what’s on the shelves. They’re fine if kindergarteners are learning about homosexuality or seventh-graders are learning about gender identity. And if there are graphic photos or sexually explicit passages, they’re fine with turning a blind eye.
Luckily, the conservative approach that the Texas legislature is taking keeps the moral compass firmly in place.
State Representative Jared Patterson (R-Frisco) along with 26 others are looking to launch a boycott. It’s simple, really. If you’re a school leader, don’t buy from vendors that have any kind of pornography within their line of products.
This boycott can help to draw a line between what is and isn’t appropriate.
Various titles have been found in school libraries that can be deemed as pornographic. “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe is a graphic novel that features several pages of illustrations on how to perform oral sex.
Such material can go into a public library – just not a library in a public school. There has to be some kind of filter as to what is appropriate – and both conservative politicians and parents have been outraged by seeing certain titles on the shelves of their childrens’ school libraries.
Patterson sent a letter to school districts across the state, asking them to sign the pledge that they will not buy from vendors that have supplied schools with inappropriate material.
Kobabe, a nonbinary author, has fought back against having their book labeled as pornography. In an interview with The Texas Tribune last year, Kobabe explained that students require “good, accurate, safe information about these topics.” The author argued further that those who have to search online are more likely to come across misinformation.
The question isn’t about whether students should have access to such material. It’s about whether they should have access to it inside of a public school. Should state education funds be used to purchase such material?
Public libraries are welcome to carry Kobabe’s book and any other book that focuses on topics of homosexuality, asexuality, and gender orientations.
As Patterson points out, “Both local districts and the Legislature will be working diligently on policies to prevent such books from being allowed on campus in the future. However, we also acknowledge school districts have a lot [of] power in the market when purchasing books and that if we stand together against explicit materials for children, book vendors will be forced to adjust.”
Representative Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) has actually combined a list of over 800 titles focused on race and sexuality that should not be in public schools. He’s asked school districts to identify if any of the titles (and which ones) are available on their campuses.
It comes down to this: no child needs to be exposed to such obscene materials inside of school. If they want to read such material, they can do so from a public library.
Many conservative states are using legislation to protect children from what they are exposed to while in school. Florida has passed a law that prevents gender orientation and sexuality to be discussed in the classrooms of students of kindergarten through third grade. Critics of the law have called it the “Don’t Say Gay” law.
There’s really no reason why “overtly sexual” content needs to be taught, discussed, or read about in school. If parents want their children to have access to such content, it can be made available outside of the public school system.