What happens when serial challengers hijack the internal book review process

How one Katy ISD parent has essentially taken over the "internal review" process.

112 book titles were on the Katy ISD “internal review” cue between October 23, 2023 - January 11, 2024. 62 of those titles were submitted to the District for “internal review” by one parent.  

A district administrator told me that there is nothing unusual about sourcing “internal review” ideas from parents. However, as someone who has looked at thousands of emails about internal and formal book reviews in Katy ISD, I can tell you- this is not normal. 

This story starts back in September, when a Katy ISD trustee (the same one who called Shannon Hale’e Itty Bitty Kitty Corn “sexually suggestive”) held up a book taken from a Katy ISD elementary school as evidence that librarians are hiding obscene and harmful books on our shelves. 

The books was You Be You!, which this parent used as a jumping off point to begin an “audit” of the entire District’s library catalog. 



Content & idea based complaints, many frivolous, dominate the book lists.

Katy ISD, under the watchful eye of three trustees (who are themselves, notorious proponents of banning books they deem “unsuitable” "harmful" "CRT" "pornography" or "obscene") agreed to accept weekly lists of books from this parent, that they have been funneling to their “internal review” cue. 

This parent's “audit” appears to consist of searching the Destiny Follett library catalog for keywords that she finds objectionable- like “pronoun” “gender” “lgbt” “sex” “race” “racism” and then looking up books on Moms for Liberty preferred review site, BookLooks, and Amazon. 


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The books cover an expanse of topics but include MANY titles that center and affirm BIPOC & LGBTQ+ stories & identities. 



The majority of books that are reviewed "internally" are retained, but at what cost?

Over 60 books later, 15 of the titles this one individual parent submitted for “internal review” have been restricted or removed (ie banned). 



These 3 books, as well as You Be You! initially banned by Katy ISD before the winter break, have apparently been re-designated “Parent & Counselor Resource.” No one has informed me how my children, or myself, can access these books if our family would like to borrow them. They are for practically speaking, banned. 

So what will it take for Katy ISD to insist its board of trustees and the public follow the board approved EF Local policies that lay out the specific options available to a parent or board member who want to restrict access of a book to students other than their own child? 

How many tax payer dollars is Katy ISD wasting in paid contract time, by allowing their “internal review” cue to be hijacked by parents who want to ban Stamped, The ABCs of Black History, And Tango Makes Three and Human Rights. 



We are literally paying masters level librarians - professional educators- thousands of salary dollars (funded by tax payers) to review books based on frivolous complaints about books the challengers don’t even bother to read in their entirety. 

Restricting and removing books, or putting them behind curtains like “Parent & Counselor Resource” - based on the ideas, content or viewpoints they contain that some find disagreeable or “unsuitable”- is a book ban. 

Granting one parent (or a few parents) permission to bypass board approved formal reconsideration policies is a recipe for egregious first amendment violations and must stop. 

If a parent (or board member, or politician, or political extremist group) wants to restrict or remove access of a book from more students than just their own child, they should be made to file a formal request for reconsideration - every book- every time. 

Parents who support the freedom to read must act. Now.

If you're a Katy ISD parent concerned about one parent infringing on your student's rights to freely access books and information, or you're seeing something similar in your school district, make your concerns known.

  • Contact your school board members and tell them you want the school district to follow the board approved policies laid out in EF Local.
  • Attend your school board meetings, and deliver public comments, to ensure there is a public record of your concerns, and help inform others about what is happening.
  • Consider running for your local school board, or at least make a plan to VOTE in your next election


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book bans Katy ISD internal reviews