A school district board meeting in Texas devolved into chaos as parents spoke out about contested books in schools and the district’s decision to close libraries, WFAA reported.
The heated meeting came in the wake of the Fort Worth Independent School District confirming last week that they were closing their libraries until Aug. 25 “so catalogs can be inventoried.” The closures come just ahead a law set to go into effect Sept. 1 that calls for any “sexually explicit” books to be removed from school shelves.
“To those who label us as book banners, let me be clear, we are not for banning books. We’re for protecting children,” said Kenya Alu during the open session in which community members are allowed to speak.
“Please don’t let a few cynical political groups remove access [to books],” said Kristine Boyd, who opposed removing books from shelves.
“Couldn’t it have been done earlier in August?” Marsha West asked. “It sends a message that reading is not important. Open the school libraries and put children first.”
The meeting turned tense when one speaker, identified as a man named Mike, called one of the books in question “Satanism.” As he began reading from the book, the board questioned if what he was reading was going to be vulgar, which would be a violation of the public speaking rules.
The man kept reading from the book, so two officers stepped in and removed him from the podium. The meeting continued without incident.
The man, identified by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram as Mike Cee, said, “Satan rules the world. Satan speaks through some of you, could be some of these board members, could be some of the audience. God has given us free will to do the right thing,.” He started reading from the book “Flamer,” which was removed from the district’s libraries this summer, which he said “has to do with homosexuality and satanism.”
“On page one, it says, ‘OK, who wants my hot wiener, oh yeah baby,’” Cee read as a board member pounded his gavel, trying to shut Cee down. “We’re talking about a hot dog here. Page two … ”
Watch WFAA’s report on the story below:
Read the full report over at WFAA.