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A message to parents regarding library books.

Press Release|
Dr. Rick McDaniel|
Friday, April 15, 2022

Dear McKinney ISD Parents,

The topic of public-school library books has received a significant amount of attention during the past several months, both in Texas and across the country. The school library book debate has been largely fueled by political agendas, sensationalism, and exaggeration.

McKinney ISD in no way supports obscene or pornographic materials of any kind in our public-school libraries. The school district is responsible for over 500,000 books stored in both physical and online circulations. On rare occasion, it is possible that a book that does not meet the district’s standard could slip through the cracks, but there is an appropriate process in place for the district to review and re-consider these materials.

Over the past decade, only five books have been challenged in McKinney ISD, and currently the district has no book challenges filed. Even though school library books are being used as a political ploy to rile voters up in advance of the upcoming elections, it is important to recognize that our teachers and library media specialists take great measures to ensure that library resources are safe and appropriate for students. Parents always have the right to determine what is appropriate for their child and can provide librarians with a list of books or topics that their child is not permitted to access.

Many of the books that have been publicly recited at school board meetings and posted on social media, are not in McKinney ISD libraries. Many of the individuals asking the district to ignore its own district policy are not residents of McKinney ISD, nor do they have children in the district. Quite honestly, many have never even stepped foot inside a McKinney ISD school. There is a clear and simple process for book reconsideration, that begins with a parent simply requesting a meeting with their child’s principal.

The simple truth is that:

  1. The district has a process for reviewing books that parents feel should be removed from libraries.
  2. The district carefully adheres to board policy for removal of library materials due to protections by the First Amendment. The Board of Education v. Pico, a 1982 Supreme Court decision, explicitly establishes that the district cannot arbitrarily remove books because it disagrees with the subject matter.
  3. The district enables parents to limit what their child has access to in a library.

McKinney ISD is certainly not perfect, and we are always seeking opportunities for improvement. Our library media specialists routinely evaluate materials and work hard to ensure that these materials have academic and literary value and that they are age and subject matter appropriate. Finally, the district will be evaluating district policy regarding the review and purchase of materials to further ensure the appropriateness of library books and instructional resources.

Our teachers and staff chose this career expressly because of their desire to care for and protect children, suggesting otherwise is misguided and irresponsible. Please do not allow political posturing to impact your perceptions or relationships with the over 2,800 dedicated teachers, librarians and support staff in McKinney ISD. Thank you for your ongoing support.

Dr. Rick McDaniel
MISD Superintendent

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