By Gretchen Clayson
A middle school teacher in Round Rock, Texas, has enraged parents by reading a Dr. Seuss-style poem mocking them as “bigots” and “kooks” after they spoke out against sexually explicit books in the library.
Tyler, an instructional technology specialist at Grisham Middle School, read the poem at the Leander ISD school board meeting on December 16, sparking outrage with parents who were left “disgusted and disheartened” at her words, according to Fox News.
After parents spoke out against CRT & books containing pornographic content, this teacher demeaned them with a Dr. Seuss parody. Unhinged pic.twitter.com/OJ1knzYHdo
— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) December 20, 2021
“Everyone in Leander liked reading a lot/ but some evangelicals in Leader did not. 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,” Tyler’s poem began.
“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!’/ 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?” she concluded.
“This is not a matter of ‘banning books’ but one of community representation,” Andy Hogue, a father of two in Leander ISD School district said, according to the New York Post. “And as long as we’re paying taxes to the LISD, we the people deserve to be heard,” adding that he was grateful the 11 objectionable books were removed from the school district.
Other parents expressed their concern that a teacher like Tyler, who they viewed as “disconnected” and harboring “disdain” for the people who pay her salary, had influence over their children.
“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,” Kieu Trang, a mother of four, said. “The fact that that statement came from a teacher who could be teaching my children at Round Rock ISD is very concerning.”
“The opinions of the teacher who recently spoke at the board meeting illustrate the utter disconnect some teachers have with their communities,” Orlando Salinas, a father of one child in Round Rock ISD told Fox News. Adding that he feels that teachers”are under the impression that parents are coming to these meetings in the spirit of political divisiveness, when this is not the case.”
Instead, Salinas pointed to data showing that minority students, especially, are struggling in areas such as math and science. “[They]are spending an inordinate amount of time teaching children about what bathrooms to use and when it’s appropriate to lower their face masks, and not enough time teaching our children reading, writing, and arithmetic,” he said.
Leander ISD recently pulled nearly a dozen books from the shelves for sexual content after a review by an advisory committee, CBS Austin reported.
Two of the books in question were also temporarily pulled from the shelves at Fairfax County Schools in Virginia for sexually explicit content, The Washington Post reported. “Lawn Boy,” by Jonathan Evison, has the main character reminiscing about explicit homosexual experiences he had as a 10-year-old boy. “Gender Queer: A Memoir,” by Maia Kobabe, includes photos of sexual acts between a boy and a man. (RELATED: Principal At Fairfax County High School Told Mom Who Exposed Pornographic Books That Parents Aren’t Allowed In The District’s Libraries)
After a month of review, Fairfax County ISD returned those books to the shelves stating that they considered the books “diverse reading material that students with underrepresented identities could relate to, according to a press release.