KATY, Texas – Katy ISD canceled an author’s virtual event and removed her books from school libraries, fearing to promote a critical racial theory agenda.
The decision comes after hundreds of parents signed a petition.
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Cora Krueger, 10, was one of several Katy ISD schoolchildren who was scheduled to attend a virtual lecture for Jerry Craft, the New York Times bestselling author of “Class Act” and “New Kid”.
“I was disappointed. I heard information about his books and they sounded really good,” Cora said.
Craft’s Monday morning appearance was suddenly canceled, and her books were pulled from the school library shelves while awaiting an official review.
Some parents like Kristen Krueger, Cora’s mother, are appalled by the district’s decision.
“In our family, we believe that all books should be books that people have access to,” said Krueger, who has two children enrolled at Katy ISD.
Krueger’s reaction stands in stark contrast to the 400-plus people who signed a now-suppressed petition before Craft appeared, raising fears that his books were pushing a critical program of racial theory.
On Tuesday, Krueger wrote a letter to directors and board trustees asking them to reconsider their decision.
“I found it shocking that ISD instead spoke to 400 parents, which in a district that serves nearly 3,000 families seems almost insane. It’s an incredibly small representation.
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“I hope not only that they welcome the author again, but that they apologize for creating this kind of scandal around his book based on a handful of people who are not representative of our city or from our school district, ”Krueger said.
On Tuesday evening, more than 800 people signed a counter-petition asking Katy ISD to welcome Craft again.
Dr Darius Benton, an assistant professor of communication studies at the University of Houston Downtown, believes the district may have missed out on a teaching opportunity and wishes critical race theory hadn’t become so politicized.
“Recently, it seems like everything race-related has been thrown into Critical Race Theory and that’s not what Critical Race Theory is. as a graduate concept that was originally taught in law schools.
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“It really examines how racism is systematically integrated into systems, organizations, society, law, government and policies. We have to be very careful when we do these things because we can now start to promote censorship,” Benton said.
In a statement, Katy ISD said, “Books in the Katy ISD library are regularly reviewed through this process. Pending the results of a review committee, academic activities associated with the current selection are ‘Examination are temporarily suspended. Academic activities relating to selections under examination and hosted outside of the teaching day, however, may continue while a formal examination process takes place. “