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Controversy over books in school libraries hits Denton ISD head-on

Controversy over books in school libraries hits Denton ISD head-on
Controversy over books in school libraries hits Denton ISD head-on 02:45

DENTON - In a 6-1 vote, the Denton Independent District School voted to keep two books in the library at Newton Rayzor Elementary.

Denton ISD book ban

At issue, books titled "Jacob's New Dress" and "Jacob's Room to Choose." The main character of the series goes on a courageous journey towards wearing a dress to school. The fictional child also deals with bullying of his clothing choices as he goes into the bathroom.

Debi Scaggs and Citizens Defending Freedom filed a grievance to have the books removed from the library where kindergarten through fifth graders have access.

"Conservative parents....their children will be exposed to these books in school," Scaggs said. "They'll either be exposed from another child if we take in account how a library actually works."

Scaggs called the board's decision predictable. But school officials said the two books meet district and state standards. They said since getting the books in 2020; students have checked one of the two pieces of literature out two times.

Denton ISD book ban

The low checkout rates didn't douse the flame to get the books removed by a school leaders' vote.

"They have entrusted you to know the difference between educational material and material that amplifies a sexual experience," Attorney Mitch Little said.

Little even brought copies of books he thought were more suitable for elementary school children.

Denton ISD book ban

Kristine Bray, a transgender woman, asked those in opposition, "If kids aren't supposed to be exposed to trans people, should I be outside?"

Bray asked the group if she should be locked away.

Dr. Lisa Thibodeaux, Denton ISD Director of Secondary Curriculum, told the board voting to remove the books violates state law and a Supreme Court ruling.

She said books cannot be removed based on ideas and preferences.

The board's vote allowed the books to remain but reaffirmed parents' rights to restrict access to content deemed objectionable.

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