CYPRESS, Texas - Checking out books from the school library at Cy-Fair ISD will now require parents' permission. This comes after the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to let families decide to opt out of library access.
There are more than 117,000 students enrolled at Cy-Fair ISD according to their website.
Parents at Cy-Fair ISD received a voice message this week alerting them of their option to ban their kids from the library. Parents can also filter what age-level of books their kids can check out.
Aly Fitzpatrick is a parent to two incoming third-graders at Cy-Fair ISD. She strongly opposes censoring kids’ access to books.
"I of course choose not to. I want my children to learn. I think Cy-Fair made a mistake by allowing this policy to come into our district. I think it opens the door for a lot of very myopic views that a certain minority group in this area is pushing.
"It seems that they’re really afraid of any books that mention anything about being transgender, exploring your sexuality, being gay. If gay children never read a book where that kind of relationship is discussed, they are at a much higher risk for suicide, depression, self-harm," Fitzpatrick said.
Diana Alexander is an educator in the district.
"It's a preemptive move because the Texas legislature may address this in their future session," Alexander said.
Alexander said the policy puts extra pressure on teachers and librarians who must now sort through book inventory and determine which level the books fall under.
"I just went through a four-hour mandated training on school safety and active shooter situations. There's just a lot of different stressors on teachers right now, and we don't need to add on to them," Alexander continued.
Board Trustee President Tom Jackson said this isn't necessarily a new concept in the district.
"This has always been an option for parents to say I do not want my child to read this book. They have always had that ability. What our policy is doing is bringing the policy up to the digital age.
"For a parent to say I do not want my child to read this book. If it's assigned reading, the teacher then has to find an alternative book which satisfies the takes," said Jackson.
"This is a bit of an experiment. It will take resources. But it's the step that the consensus of the Board felt this was the right direction to go," Jackson continued.
The policy goes into effect on November 15th, 2022. Cy-Fair ISD begins school on Monday, August 22nd.