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Tipsheet

Teacher Read Dr. Seuss-Style Poem That Referred to Parents as 'Bigots' at School Board Meeting

Richard Alan Hannon/The Advocate via AP

A technology teacher in the Austin, Texas area read a Dr. Seuss-style poem criticizing "evangelicals" and parents who have raised concerns about books that contain sexually explicit content, infuriating parents in the district.

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Krista Tyler, an instructional technology specialist at Grisham Middle School in the Round Rock Independent School District, read the poem at a Dec. 16 Leander ISD school board meeting, when she alleged that concerned parents feared critical thinking and were "bigots."

"Everyone in Leander liked reading a lot/ but some evangelicals in Leader did not," Tyler said. "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."

"These bigots don't get to choose for us, that's clear," Tyler continued. "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?"

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Parents in the district took issue with the poem and slammed the school system for wanting pornographic books to remain in school libraries.

"I'm disgusted and disheartened that there are teachers in our school district who think it is OK to mock parents for their religious beliefs, and for demanding that children not have access to books in the library or classroom that have pornographic illustrations and graphic descriptions of sex acts," Dustin Clark, a father of four children in Round Rock public schools, told Fox News.

Two of the books in question, according to Clark, are "Gender Queer: A Memoir" by Maia Kobabe, which contains explicit illustrations of oral sex and masturbation, and "Lawn Boy" by Jonathan Evison, containing graphic descriptions of sex between men and children. The books have enraged parents in Leander and Round Rock, as well as in other districts around the country, such as Fairfax County, Virginia, where the two books have recently been reinstated after they had temporarily been removed.

Earlier this month, Leander ISD removed 11 books for sexually explicit content.

Kieu Trang, a mother of four in Round Rock ISD, criticized Tyler's poem and said the educator "shouldn't be teaching."

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"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," Trang told Fox News. "The fact that that statement came from a teacher who could be teaching my children at Round Rock ISD is very concerning."

"I might have opposing views, but I don't call anyone on the opposing side ‘bigots’ or brainless," Trang continued. "That is reprehensible and despicable. She shouldn't be teaching."

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