Books that have been removed from KISD libraries include “The Nerdy and the Dirty; “” Forever for a year; “” Me and Earl and the dying girl; “Jack of Hearts” and “Lawn Boy”. (Courtesy of Adobe Stock)
Katy ISD has created a online portal for parents to voice concerns about books that parents find inappropriate for their children. The portal became available on December 10 and comes after several parents of KISD students expressed outrage over some of the books available in school libraries.
The portal allows parents to complete a review of any book they believe contains “ubiquitous vulgar” language and violates district board policy, which states that the district has final say over the content of its. libraries. It will then be reviewed by KISD staff and could take up to 30 days for staff to make a decision, according to the website.
KISD staff have already removed several books from district libraries that community members mentioned during the public comment portion of the November 15 school board meeting. During the meeting, speakers read excerpts from books they said should not be accessible to children, citing inappropriate sexual content and language.
“A lot of children are being thrown to the wolves,” parent Claudia Turcott said at the Nov. 15 meeting. âThey don’t have anyone to guide them. You all have to stand back.
Books withdrawn from KISD libraries so far include “The Nerdy and the Dirty” by BT Gottfred, “Forever for a Year” by BT Gottfred, “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” by Jesse Andrews, “Jack of Hearts” by Lev AC Rosen and “Lawn Boy” by Jonathan Evison, according to Maria DiPetta, media and multimedia relations manager for KISD.
Superintendent Ken Gregorski also issued a statement Dec. 6 regarding the district’s suppression of books.
âThe board and I support this policy and strongly believe that there is no place for books that contain vulgar ubiquitous content in Katy ISD libraries,â said Gregorski in the letter. “We expect the books in our collections to be appropriate for the age of the students and families we serve.”
KISD’s move comes a month after Governor Greg Abbott issued a directive Nov. 8 to the Texas Education Agency, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, and the State Board of Education on keeping inappropriate material out of public libraries.
In November, the neighboring district of Lamar CISD also removed books flagged for inappropriate content from its libraries, according to an email from Sonya Cole-Hamilton, LCISD’s communications manager.