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TLA Response to Governor’s Proposed Parental Bill of Rights

Advocacy, TLA News

On Thursday, January 20, Governor Abbott announced his proposed Parental Bill of Rights at a campaign event in North Texas. The Texas Library Association issued the following response:

We are thrilled that Governor Abbott is focused on education and the importance of parents being involved in their children’s education as he campaigns. However, it appears that his Parental Bill of Rights is tantamount to unfunded mandates which will place an even greater burden on schools across the state working hard every day to keep their doors open while navigating the COVID pandemic.

It is also important to understand that there is no pornography in school libraries. School librarians are professionals dedicated to the education and protection of children while cultivating a thirst for knowledge. We should trust them to do their jobs – while holding them accountable – not subvert their expertise by searching for a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.

There are already processes in place if a parent wants to challenge a book that they find inappropriate or have concerns about. These processes are designed at the local level to adjudicate the challenges because one size does not fit all when it comes to education. The state should respect the local processes in place in Texas.