A Texas state representative and local parents say they’ve battled mostly “woke” school board trustees for almost a year to remove sexually explicit books from their city’s school libraries.
“It’s been a very long story and a very big fight,” State Rep. Jared Patterson, a Republican from Frisco, told The Epoch Times.
Patterson said he started objecting to sexually explicit CK books in November 2021.
However, when school began in August, there were still 28 books with sexual or inappropriate content on library shelves in Frisco Independent School District libraries, he said.
Neighboring districts or publishers had already pulled these books from school library shelves, he said. But Frisco’s superintendent and most of the board members had stonewalled efforts by him and other parents to remove the books that included descriptions of child rape, homosexual encounters, masturbation, and incidents of physical and sexual abuse.
Frisco Independent School District (ISD) put the books through a process of staff review and reconsideration by committee. But the rubric they used to judge the books’ appropriateness didn’t mention obscenity. Of the 28 books of concern, only five were pulled, he said.
“They hand-picked these local liberal activists to be on these reconsideration committees that they knew weren’t going to pull any of these books,” he said.
Patterson appealed. Staff members reviewed the remaining books, eventually pulling another 21 titles, he said.
The book “Identical” finally was pulled after parent Shanon Ayres read excerpts during her turn to speak at an October school board meeting. The passage she read aloud from the podium explicitly describes a father raping his young daughter.
Ayres is a board member of the watchdog group County Citizens Defending Freedom in Frisco. Persuading board members to remove the books has been an uphill battle because only two conservatives sit on the board, Ayres told The Epoch Times.
Parents need to be aware of what’s happening in their schools and stand up to protect their children, she said.
“This is the hill we are ready to die on. They’re after our kids.”
Elected school officials who do nothing, or oppose parental efforts to protect children, will be challenged next election cycle, Ayres told school board trustees at the meeting.
They can’t hide behind claims that removing books would violate students’ rights, she said.
Minors aren’t allowed to carry guns, and that isn’t an infringement on their Second Amendment rights, she pointed out. Likewise, taking “filth” out of libraries doesn’t infringe upon their First Amendment rights, as some have claimed.
School librarians invite people they know to sit on book-review committees, including at least one left-wing teacher who supports Antifa and Black Lives Matter, Ayres said.
School board trustees “could pull those books overnight if they wanted to,” Ayres said.
On Oct. 17, Patterson joined forces with state Rep. Matt Shaheen, a Republican from Plano, and state Sen. Drew Springer, a Republican from Muenster. Together, they met with Frisco ISD superintendent Mike Waldrip and Rene Archambault, the school board president. Their discussion of the books issue didn’t go well, Patterson said.
“The bottom line is there’s just a culture within the school district of acceptance in promoting these types of materials,” he said.
By example, he pointed out an official counselor Instagram page for Emerson High School.
The counselor “posted an image about relieving anxiety by utilizing sex toys,” Patterson said. “That counselor is still employed in the district.”
The next step for Patterson and the parents will be an escalated request, known as a level-three appeal on Oct. 26, asking again to remove the remaining seven books they say are inappropriate for children. They include: “Check, Please! #1 Hocky,” Chicken Girl,” “Glass,” “Glass Castle,” “Perks of being a Wildflower,” “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” and “The Exact Opposite of Okay.”
On a level-three appeal, trustees will vote on the issue.
Neither the Frisco ISD communications department nor Archambault responded to requests for comment.