During a meeting of the Canyon Independent School District on Monday, board members decided to postpone the vote on providers of its health curriculum and the process of removing books from the classroom and school libraries. The main reason for introducing the measure was related to the newly elected member of the board of directors Paul Blake and gave him time to hurry up and study the issues related to the measures.
During the public address section of the meeting, a number of community speakers attacked the morale and character of longtime board members, with superintendent Dr. Daryl Flushe being called by name.
Local resident Carl Kinsey spoke of an alleged incident at Canyon High School in the spring semester, where a boy reportedly entered a girl’s restroom and was kicked out of the restroom by a teacher. He also claims that the teacher was reprimanded for their actions. He said the council had not done its job to protect the girls in their school district. Kinsey talks about the policies in the district that are responsible for incidents like this, but no specific policy is mentioned.
“I was told that the Canyon Independent School District was a public school district and that every student would be protected, but what about the girls who were in that restroom when this boy came in?” Kinsey asked. “No, you are not. This area has proven that it will not protect your daughters.
Much of the public forum part of the meeting dealt with some lessons and terminology regarding the health curriculum and the way health education is taught, including verbosity as a “pregnant person” rather than a “woman”. Some community commentators have argued that a language like this promotes LGBTQ + ideology. The mental health programs and curriculum were attacked as an invasion and did not reflect the core values of the entire Canyon community by members of the public.
Overall, a number of community members speaking at the meeting objected to any mention of LGBQT + material in the school district’s health curriculum. They insisted that religious ideology be the basis for the health curriculum and the choice of library materials. Some have called for a total ban on any book that deals with transsexualism in any form in library literature. It was also reiterated that the CISD library was full of pornographic material.
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The CISD said it was postponing the vote on the approved health programs so that all board members could examine the selected providers in more detail. The board also decided to postpone the vote on its new measures on book challenges that parents consider unsuitable for school libraries. In the proposed plan, each parent can challenge a book, which will trigger a review by a panel of educators and parents to review the title in question. If removed, the book will not be available in any library in the area.
Board member Linda Hinders stressed that this process will not simply remove books due to the accidental inadmissibility of each set of beliefs, but the district will still ensure that a wide range of materials is available to students, regardless of religious or personal beliefs. According to politics, books will not be removed just because of the ideas they express. According to the proposed policy, the final criteria will be the appropriateness of the resources for their purpose.
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CISD board members dismissed comments addressed to them in public comments, as if they were not morally fit to do their job or did not consider students’ best interests when making decisions or pursuing policies.
Hinders said they, as board members, were interested in the decisions they made and wanted to give a new member of Blake’s board the time they needed to review the materials.
CISD board member Randy Darnell also repulsed attacks on the faith and character of board members by some made during a public comment.
“I take offense at anyone who says I don’t love my daughters or that I don’t care about the kids,” Darnell said. “It is absurd to criticize the people who serve this community for free in order to do a decent job for this school district. No one on this council has chosen a book for this area. If there are inappropriate books, we will remove them. I really don’t think we have much in this area. I think the nature of the meeting could be helped if there was more respect for the people on this board. “
Both tabled items are expected to be considered at the CISD meeting in July.
After further review, Flushe said there was no evidence that some of the details of the alleged toilet incident, described during the public discussion section of the meeting, ever happened.