I want to create a culture of transparency in Keller ISD.
I want to protect students by
curbing politicization of curriculum.
I want to improve collaboration between
parents, students and teachers.
I want to restore the focus on academic excellence.
I'd like to share my thoughts, in my own words, about a hot button topic in our district and around the nation- books.
Sexually-explicit instructional materials have no place in classrooms or school libraries. The fundamental role of a trustee is to advocate for the education and well-being of students. Sexualizing students is antithetical to this role because sexual-explicit content is harmful to children and undermines the education process. Those seeking leadership positions in our schools who don’t understand this, or worse make excuses for it, have no business making decisions for our children. I understand this issue for what it is, and as a trustee, I will fight to protect your children from being sexualized.
I fully support creating spaces for multiple perspectives, I truly do. However, what I do not support is the idea that certain groups of students, or those who have experienced trauma, can only be reached using instructional materials rooted in graphic depictions of sex, rape, and incest. That mindset is wrong and those who support this point of view, or fail to call it out, do not have the best interests of our children in mind.
I take issue with those who tell the public nothing can be done because of first amendment rights or Supreme Court precedents. At best those individuals are uninformed and at worst they are not telling the truth. Either scenario is dangerous, because the book issue at its core is a child safety issue. Schools boards have complete and full discretion to regulate instructional materials in our schools. In fact, the Texas Association of School Boards came out in November of 2021 and said so in a FAQ document distributed to school boards across the state (see below).
Our district has made effort to remove sexually-explicit content from our schools. Unfortunately, it did so by initially requiring parents to sign non-disclosure agreements to participate in challenge committees. This was wrong. The district continues to restrict public access by holding these meetings in private, limits the number of parents who can participate, and has failed to establish objective and apolitical criteria to identify sexually-explicit content. All of these things are wrong, and we can do better, and we need to do better, because this is a child safety issue.
To date, 100% of the books that have gone through the challenge process are back in the hands of students. I have read these books and they are obscene, gratuitous, and sexually-explicit. Parents were even instructed to not read passages or show images from them in our school board meetings because children were in attendance. If our leaders are concerned about child safety, then how did this happen? This happened because we don’t have processes in place to protect kids and we lack leaders with the courage to see these issues and fix them.
I am a concerned mom that cares about your kiddos the same way I care about mine and will fight to protect them from being sexualized. I will work hard with parents and teachers on day 1 to fix this issue, not patronize them by saying this can be fixed by simply opting-out or dismissing their concerns by saying they are being fearful and emotional. Are folks upset? Absolutely and rightfully so, because distributing sexually-explicit content crosses the line and pretending it doesn’t is unacceptable.
While I have many priorities I want to focus on, if concerns over child safety, and sexualization and politicization of children make me a one-issue candidate, so be it. I will be a one-issue candidate all day long.