Humble ISD parents voice concerns about student’s access to certain books in campus libraries

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HUMBLE – Humble ISD parents voiced concern about access to certain books in the district’s libraries and took their concerns to public comment in Tuesday’s board meeting.

Tuesday marked the district’s first day of school.

At the board meeting, some community members were heated and came to voice their concern over what they said were dozens of inappropriate books that are available to students. Reading excerpts from books aloud, one parent said 40 books she found, including The Bluest Eye, were inappropriate, sexually explicit and lacked educational value.

“Our taxpayers do not want to be complicit with the corruption of minors. We have every faith and confidence that our district will do the right thing,” one parent said during public comment.

“To have this in a book and a person is reading it--a young child, what is that telling and teaching them,” another person said during public comment.

Other parents said some of the books teach students the wrong lessons and mentioned that the “reconsideration process” used to remove a book from the district’s shelves is a cumbersome one.

While this item was not on the board’s agenda and no action was taken, the district responded with the following statement:

Humble ISD partners with parents regarding their children’s education. Every library book that a student checks out is available for their parents to see in their Home Access Center.

In addition, books that are not completely removed but may not be age appropriate for all grade levels on campus are held behind the counter, and students must have written permission from their parents to access and/or check out the book.

In addition, we have a process in place for parents to request to have a book removed. A parent who spoke at the Board meeting utilized that remedy and accepted the outcome of the process. She chose not to appeal it.

Humble ISD serves more than 48,000 students in diverse communities across our district and it is our goal to provide a personalized education for each child, in partnership with their parents. In alignment with that goal, if a parent feels strongly that their child does not have access to a particular book, Humble ISD will ensure they cannot check it out.

Humble ISD is a leader in fiscal management and adopted a balanced budget that also includes a 4.6-cent reduction in the tax rate. (No one-time federal funds were used to create this balanced budget.) The district is fiscally healthy. Only two percent of Texas school districts have a higher bond rating. The district’s bond rating is equal to or higher than 98 percent of school districts in Texas. Families choose Humble ISD. Only five districts in the entire state have grown by more students than Humble ISD over the past 6 years.

“We will continue to partner with families to have the very best situation forever one in Humble ISD. We do serve over 48000 students and their families, and we are very diverse community, which I love. I love that about us, which makes it really difficult because we’re not homogeneous to make every single person feel exactly what they want. But we’re committed to really personalizing to each one,” Humble ISD Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Fagan said.