Gov. Greg Abbott directs TEA to investigate ‘availability of pornography’ in public schools

Governor cites no evidence in letter to education agency


Gov. Greg Abbott ramped up pressure on public schools Wednesday morning after ordering the Texas Education Agency to investigate “pornographic books” and “obscene content” in Texas public schools.

Without citing any specific examples, Abbott said the “presence of pornography in schools is not only inappropriate, but it is also against the law.”

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“During this investigation, I ask the agency to refer any instance of pornography being provided to minors under the age of 18 for prosecution to the fullest extent of the law,” Abbott wrote.

Abbott has latched onto pornography in schools in recent weeks.

On Nov. 1, Abbott wrote an unusual letter to the Texas Association of School Boards about the topic, asking them to look into the issue. The organization said it was confused by the request because TASB has “no regulatory authority over school districts and does not set the standards for instructional materials, including library books.”

A week later, Abbott directed the TEA to develop standards that will block books with “obscene content” from making its way into public schools.

Last month, Rep. Matt Krause, a Republican state lawmaker running for Texas Attorney General, opened an inquiry into major Texas public school districts. He asked school districts about a list of more than 800 books, seeking to establish how many copies of these books they have and how much money they spent to purchase them. Some school districts have complied, while others have refused.

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