Plano Independent School District announced it will conduct a review of its book policy in response to concerns raised regarding sexually explicit content in library books.
On Oct. 6, 2023, Superintendent Therese Williams sent a statement to Plano ISD parents and guardians, explaining that the district will begin the process of revising its “internal procedures” for book review processes.
“As your superintendent and as a parent, I share the sense of urgency to always protect the young minds of our children, so I want you to hear directly from me where our district stands and how we are working to address this important issue,” Williams said in the statement. “Our Board of Trustees, leadership team and staff are committed to our community values, the wellbeing of our students and do not condone having any sexually explicit content in our libraries or schools.”
This comes after a viral video from a Plano ISD board meeting shows a Plano ISD non-resident reading passages from several books found in the district's libraries — A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas and Collateral by Ellen Hopkins. Both of these books were previously reviewed by the district. While Maas’ was deemed “relevel senior high only,” Hopkins’ had no change.
In August of 2022, the board implemented a new library materials policy with the aim of enhancing educational experiences and nurturing a passion for reading in its libraries.
“Just recently, this new policy has been tested for the first time, and it has become clear that we have more work to do as several books were appealed,” Williams said. “In response, my leadership team and I will be reviewing our internal procedures to ensure calibration and consistency so appropriate decisions are made for the betterment of our students.”
To strengthen that process, Williams said the district will do the following:
- Conduct a comprehensive review of our current procedures to identify gaps in effectiveness or implementation
- Revise administrative procedures and guidelines for clarity and adherence to all legal requirements
- Propose Board policy revision as deemed necessary
- Pause library book purchases and centralize the process for future procurement
- Provide comprehensive staff training once the process has been completed