A teacher in Leander, Texas mocked parents and insulted them with various stereotypes because the educator was mad that the district removed "progressive" reading material after parents voiced their concerns.
"I might have opposing views, but I don't call anyone on the opposing side 'bigots' or brainless," one parent said in reaction to the situation.
According to Fox News, Leander ISD has been a battleground between parents and the school system. They successfully managed to get the district to remove 11 books – "Lawn Boy" and "Gender Queer: A Memoir" – removed for depicting sexually explicit material.
Krista Tyler is an instructional technology specialist at Grisham Middle School. In response to the recent controversy, she made up a Dr. Seuss style poem to read to those in attendance.
The Leander Independent School District board of trustees meeting took place on December 16th. Tyler’s demonstration on the podium came about amidst an otherwise standard conference where administrators iron out details for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year.
"Everyone in Leander liked reading a lot. But some evangelicals in Leader did not," Tyler says while putting on a voice that sounds like she’s reading to school children.
"These kooks hated reading, the whole reading season (please don’t ask why, no one quite knows the reason.) It could be perhaps critical thinking causes fright. It could be their heads aren’t screwed on just right. But whatever the reason, their brains or their fright, they can’t follow policy in plain black and white."
"These bigots don’t get to choose for us, that’s clear. Then how, I am wondering, did we even get here? They growl at our meetings, all hawing and humming: ‘We must stop this indoctrination from coming!’"
With that last line mocking parents, Ms. Tyler chooses to put on a southern accent.
"They’ve come for the books and the bonds and what for? Their kids don’t even attend Leander schools anymore. Bring back our books, maintain decorum, good grief. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a meeting in peace?"
Here’s a round-up of reactions from local parents about Tyler’s public display:
- Andy Hogue, a father of two, told Fox News that at this point people realize they need to speak up against the "liberal interests" encroaching their politics too far into the school system. "This is not a matter of ‘banning books’ but one of community representation. And as long as we're paying taxes to the LISD, we the people deserve to be heard. That a classroom teacher – who, by the way, has the ability to prescribe ‘book club’ events and vacation reading activities – has such disdain for the very people who pay her salary is mind-boggling."
- Dustin Clark, a father of four, was arrested back in September for shouting at a school board meeting. "I'm disgusted and disheartened that there are teachers in our school district who think it is OK to mock parents for their religious beliefs, and for demanding that children not have access to books in the library or classroom that have pornographic illustrations and graphic descriptions of sex acts."
- Kieu Trang, a mother of four, said "She is trying to lump all parents who oppose pornographic books into the ‘evangelicals-bigots-brainless’ category that hates reading, but the fact of the matter is we are a group of very diverse, highly-concerned parents who do not want pornographic books in our schools. The fact that that statement came from a teacher who could be teaching my children at Round Rock ISD is very concerning."
- Orlando Salinas is the father to one child who attends the Round Rock ISD. He says the episode proves how teachers are disconnected from the communities they work in. Salinas says teachers like Ms. Tyler assume bad faith on the part of parents who show up to school board meetings. "Parents such as myself, are increasingly participating in school board meetings because we see firsthand the detrimental effects that ‘woke-ism’ has had on our schools and our children. In Round Rock, 8% of African American students and 11% of Hispanic students perform math on grade level, according to the 2021 STARR Performance data. We parents are attending these meetings to challenge the status quo because the status quo is not working for our students."
The usage of Dr. Seuss in this fashion is strikingly opposite of a situation earlier this year where the publisher removed six Seuss books over allegations of racism. Illustrations on select pages throughout the different works was the reason behind the move.
Across the United States in the first year of the Biden administration, parents became activists on behalf of the well-being of their children. They actively engaged with administrative educators over the reopening of schools and mask mandates, on top of voicing concerns about so-called progressive reading materials teaching minors to think a particular way about issues of sexuality and race.
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