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Gov. Abbott calls for statewide standards to assess books inside Texas schools

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Posted at 8:28 PM, Nov 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-09 22:22:47-05

On Monday, Gov. Abbott sent a letter calling to shield children in Texas Public Schools from pornography and other inappropriate content.

In his letter Abbott directed Commissioner Mike Morath with the Texas Education Agency, Texas State Library and Archives Commission Chair Martha Wong, and Texas State Board of Education Chair Keven Ellis to "develop statewide standards" to assess the content within Texas schools.

Abbott said a growing number of parents are outraged about inappropriate books and "other content" within public school libraries. He goes on to list specific texts that have already been removed from two Texas schools.

"For example, Keller Independent School District was recently compelled to remove a book from a school library titled Gender Queer: a Memoir by Maia Kobabe after complaints of the book’s pornographic drawings," states the letter. "Additionally, Leander Independent School District recently removed several books from classrooms because of inappropriate content."

For more about the current local process in place, as well as information about how parents can challenge instructional materials click here.

Abbott claims that following his letter to the Texas Association of School Boards last week, the association has, "washed its hands clean of the issue," and that as a result, he is calling on the state to, "ensure that school districts are adopting the best practices," regarding books containing pornography and other obscene content.

Last month, another Texas lawmaker began an investigation into the books that Texas school districts have on their shelves. In a letter containing a 16-page-list of over 800 books, State Rep. Matt Krause asked districts if the books were present on school shelves.

For the full list of books from State Rep. Matt Krause click here.

Book titles within the list were wide-ranging and related to race, history, reproduction, and sexuality. According to his letter, Krause also claimed that students, parents, and taxpayer objections were driving the investigation.

"As the only entity in Texas that represents every local school board in Texas, the Texas Association of School Boards has an obligation to hold its members accountable and ensure that school districts are adopting the best practices when it comes to vetting the content schools are making available to students," said Abbott in his letter. "Given this negligence, the State of Texas now calls on you to do what the Texas Association of School Boards refuses to do."