During a board meeting of the Clear Creek Independent School District this week, parents took the stand, voicing their concerns about a number of books they say are inappropriate for their young children to be reading.
Mark Callahan was leading the charge, as his child attends one of the CCISD's 45 schools. "There’s an army of parents doing a deep dive into all things literature in CCISD," he said, urging the board to do better when it comes to overseeing which books students have access to.
"Because, ultimately, the buck stops with you guys, the school board," Callahan said. "The board of trustees.”
One particular book that has drawn ire of many is titled "Sex Is a Funny Word." According to author Cory Silverberg, the book targets 8 to 10-year-olds, and is "the first sex education book for this age group that is inclusive of lesbian, gay, and bisexual experience as well as gender creative and gender-nonconforming children."
While the book does discuss issues such as consent and unwanted touching, it also has a chapter on "Assigned sex, gender identity, and gender roles."
"Whether it’s drag queen storytime, books like the one that was exposed, or any other attempt to sexualize our kids," Callahan said, "we’re not going to stand for it."
As KHOU11 reports, the book was not available directly through the school but rather via a local library partner program. Following concerns raised by parents, access to the library's collection was paused.
The district paused access to the library’s collection when concerns arose. It's now reportedly exploring a way to allow parents to choose whether they want students to have access to the public library in addition to those at schools.
"A review of our policy as it relates to individual book titles will also be assessed,” CCISD Board President Jay Cunningham said.
This is the latest in a flurry of book content controversies from Katy ISD to the State Board of Education.
Gov. Greg Abbott has also called for the removal of any school books overtly sexual in nature.
Another young adult writer has publicly said they believe it’s important for children to have access to age-appropriate material even when it might make parents uncomfortable.