Katy ISD Comment Period

The outrageous objections raised over new library book purchase order requests in Katy, Texas.

4 people—out of more than 360,000—could determine the books you and your students are allowed to have access to in the coming year.

Sign our petition to join the network of parents and community allies fighting censorship in Texas!

That’s .00001 percent of the population.  Does that sound like the opinion of the majority?

As of a few months ago, Katy Independent School District’s policies EFA & EFB require the district to publicly post purchase order requests submitted by librarians to the website for a 30-day comment period.

These comments are submitted through a web form and do not require any proof that someone is a resident, parent, or stakeholder of any kind.

You literally don’t even have to live in Katy ISD to challenge the books being ordered.

Remember those four people who wrote in to challenge this current tranche of books being purchased?  Yeah, they might not even live in Katy ISD.

Or Houston.

Or Texas, for that matter.


The first batch of comments submitted by "the public" were obtained through a public information request requested by our co-founder, Anne Russey, who is a parent of students in the district. During the first 30-day comment period, 47 comments were received from these four individuals.  So let's dive into some of the books 4 people who live God knows where and may or may not have any children in Katy ISD schools, want to keep out of *all* Katy ISD libraries.

A Whale of a Time, a children’s book by Lou Peacock, was challenged because (quote from the complaint) "It uses the word pussy over & over...’O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love, what a beautiful pussy you are, you are, you are! What a beautiful Pussy you are!’ Doesn't seem like adults in school would want to read that out to a class."

…what the complainant neglects to tell you is that the word ‘Pussy’ in this book literally refers to a pussy cat.  You know.  Like the kind you might have in your home, or that you see lounging in windows as you walk through your neighborhood.

Cats.  They want the book banned because of cats.

Are You Mad At Me, by Tyler Feder, has been challenged because (quote from the complaint) “This author writes books that are "too" inclusive. Including LGBTQ, which I feel at this age, is not appropriate messaging any eight-year-old should have to digest or be exposed to. It's a hard no for me."

Okay.  But.  Even if we set that aside: what about this book?  Does this book include those stories, or do you just not like the author as a person so you figure, eh, ban ‘em all?  The complainant points out nothing about the actual title that would warrant it being censored.

There’s more.

Squished by Megan Wagner Lloyd and Michelle Mee Nutter comes the closest to any semblance of nuance when the complainer said, “While the book discusses sharing a room among siblings, this one might not fit within the broader context of Katy, ISD families. I am concerned the "complex" issues that may be discussed in this book may not be fitting for this age group."

Ah.  Of course.  Because every family in Katy ISD has exactly the same number of siblings, the exact same number of rooms for each of them in their house, and could not possibly be any different from one another.  No need for a book about different families.  Everyone around here is EXACTLY the same.

Is this getting absurd yet?  Do you find this crazy?

There are more.  A lot more.  You can find them all posted in this Twitter thread, along with the complaints lodged against them, which very in their vitriol and radical takes, but are all patently ridiculous.

Santa’s Gotta Go, in particular, is worth reading the commentary on.  You KNOW a book is bad when a white person gets offended on behalf of black people.

Along with all of these titles, there were complaints submitted about secondary titles that include references to romance, sex, sexual abuse, and other themes most would consider appropriate only for secondary readers.

We are not going to elevate the out-of-context complaints by publishing them here, but we don't want to be accused of ignoring them either.  You cannot qualify a book as porn based on an arbitrary count of profane words or indications of sex or sexual abuse.  Library books are not pornography.  Every book present in them is vetted by caring librarians who have the best educational interests of students at heart.

No one is advocating for pornography to be present in libraries. Period.

We believe that parents can set boundaries & rules for their own students to follow.  But other parents or adults should NOT get to determine those rules and boundaries for anyone else's kids.  Especially not adults who aren’t even verifiably part of this school district!

It goes without saying that not every book is for every reader at every age.  But people who think books about racism are CRT, or think a story about a large, multi-generational family is unrelatable to this community, or a book should be excluded from a library because the author is "too inclusive of LGBT people" should not get to decide what our students can read.

If you're a Texan who wants to join the fight to protect intellectual freedom and First Amendment rights in our state, please sign & share this petition https://txftrp.org/petition & follow @TXFreedomRead on socials.


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