Lake Travis ISD Board of Trustees wants to review current policy regarding books in classrooms, libraries

After more than a year of debate regarding so-called "obscene" books in schools, the Lake Travis ISD Board of Trustees expressed plans to review the district's current book review policy.

"Library Resource Policies and Processes" was an item on the agenda during last week’s board meeting. A public comment period was also included

"Many of us have spent the last year and a half asking you politely, quietly and discreetly by email and public comment to please create a policy to prohibit sexually explicit and trans-affirming books bought with taxpayer funds," said one parent during the public comment period.

Under current policy, enacted in 2017 by the Texas Association of School Boards, librarians are in charge of reviewing content while the school board has ultimate authority. 

There is a process in place for parents to complain – either informally or formally – about specific content. It was noted at the meeting that the board has never received a formal complaint.

"Either we don’t have a problem or we’re not making it accessible enough, and I think we're not making it accessible enough," said Trustee John Aoueille. "To the community - be patient, we want to get this right."

Suggested and affirmed by board members at Wednesday’s meeting – a plan to review current policy and improve transparency, clarity, and accessibility for parents.

"We have a balancing act, right, we need to provide literature that allows our children to advance and grow, but on the same token, many of those are young children and our job is to protect them," said Trustee Bob Dorsett, Jr.

Most of the public comment consisted of parents reading excerpts and pushing back on books still on school shelves.

"We are not trying to ban books," said one parent. "Parents can still go buy these books at Target or Walmart; we just don’t want kids getting them at school paid for by taxpayer funds."

If passed, a bill filed this legislative session would mandate that publishers "may not sell a book or other written material to a school district or open-enrollment charter school unless the publisher has assigned a content rating."