AUSTIN (LifeSiteNews) – Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has asked the state school board association to work with its members to ensure pornographic material is removed from schools.
“Parents have the right to shield their children from obscene content used in schools their children attend,” Abbott wrote in a November 1 letter to Dan Troxell, chief executive of the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB). “They are right that Texas public schools should not provide or promote pornographic or obscene material to students.”
He said Texas parents have become “increasingly alarmed” about books used in the classroom that portray pornographic materials. The letter does not give any specific examples.
“You have an obligation to Texas parents and students to ensure that no child in Texas is exposed to pornography or other inappropriate content while inside a Texas public school,” Abbott said.
His letter said that “library books and other classroom resources” are often decided at the district level. He wants TASB to ensure the districts in its association are removing pornographic materials.
The school board group responded by arguing it does not set curricula and that it was “confused” by the letter.
TASB said it “has no regulatory authority over school districts and does not set the standards for instructional materials, including library books,” though it did say that it wants its member school board to work with parents on curricula and be open to their concerns.
“Of course, school board trustees care deeply about parent concerns and community input,” the school board association said. “That’s why local school boards have policies and processes in place for parents to express their concerns about any matter affecting their local school community — including the challenge of library materials.”
Abbott’s letter did not identify specific examples of pornographic content in public schools, but was likely motivated in part by recent reports of libraries making books such as Doing It, The V-Word, This Book is Gay, Lawn Boy, and Gender Queer available to children despite containing explicit depictions of homosexual and even pedophilic sex acts.