MCKINNEY, Texas — School districts across the state have been thrown into debates about banning books in classrooms.
Last week, the Texas Education Agency recommended school districts redo policies for reviewing and banning books, and it’s expected to be a priority during the next legislative session.
This comes amid a Republican-led effort around the state — and country — that targets books focused on discussions of race, gender and sexual orientation. But some Republican leaders are speaking out against these efforts, including the mayor of McKinney. He’s publicly said that he’s “ashamed” of this movement.
“I’m ashamed of parts of the Republican Party that are [focusing] on this issue,” said George Fuller, McKinney mayor, during an interview on Capital Tonight. “It’s not about our children and it’s not about books. If it were, there’s a process to challenge books. It’s just a battle cry to turn out votes in November.”
Fuller says that “being under political fire” is taking a toll on educators, who have already had to deal with teaching during the pandemic.
“There’s collateral damage to that,” he said. “We’re impacting our teachers, our administrators and our students.”
Fuller says he supports parents being involved in their child’s education, and that the school has a system to review any book a parent has concerns about. But, he feels that some are pushing a lie that schools are refusing to get rid of “pornographic” books.
“I don’t blame parents. They are being misled,” said Fuller. “There are parents in our district showing up and reading passages from books that don’t exist in our library.”
Watch our full interview with Fuller above.