Fort Worth’s ABC affiliate reports:
A Fort Worth school district board meeting turned tense Tuesday night as parents and community members sounded off on books in school and the district’s decision to close libraries while they catalog books ahead of a new state law in September. The Fort Worth Independent School District last week confirmed they were closing their libraries until Aug. 25 “so catalogs can be inventoried.”
The library closures drew attention ahead of a law that goes into effect Sept. 1 that calls for any “sexually explicit” books to be removed from shelves. Any “sexually relevant” books under the law will be put through a ratings system before they are made available to students. The library issue wasn’t on the Fort Worth district’s board agenda Tuesday night, but it was top of mind for plenty of speakers from the public.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports:
Mike Cee was reading from the book “Flamer” by Mike Curato, which was pulled from the district’s elementary and middle school libraries this summer, during public comment when he was removed from the building. The disruption caused the board to temporarily recess while other meeting attendees shouted and argued with law enforcement about removing Cee from the building instead of only the meeting room.
District officials warned Cee that if he read any excerpt considered to be vulgar, then he would be stopped from speaking. Before Cee was removed, he spoke about Satan, God and free will. “Satan rules the world. Satan speaks through some of you, could be some of these board members, could be some of the audience. God has given us free will to do the right thing,” Cee said.
The Christian Post reports:
His microphone was then cut off as law enforcement officers approached the lectern and escorted Cee out of the room as a member of the audience shouted, “Don’t touch him. He didn’t break the law!” A video from the meeting showed police taking Cee into an adjacent room, where he told officers, “This book is in the school system and you are defending it!”
Bystanders are heard in the clip telling officers, “Don’t touch him! You don’t have the authority to!” as one of the officers attempted to grab Cee around his waist. Cee is heard shouting at the officer, “I am a disabled veteran, stop pushing me!” and “Get your hands off me!” Police then escorted Cee out of the Fort Worth ISD building.
He’s a disabled veteran! He can do anything he wants!
The meeting turned tense when one speaker, identified as a man named Mike, called one of the books in question “Satanism.” https://t.co/BqXQRftPKj
— KYTX CBS19 (@kytxcbs19) August 23, 2023
Oh great. Schools back in session and now we have more school board tyranny on display! Man forced out for reading from a book which was in the library. So much for free speech! Great for kids, but too obscene to speak out against at Fort Worth ISD board meeting? pic.twitter.com/TsAl3iaC6Z
— Kristi Leigh (@KristiLeighTV) August 23, 2023
Texas school board forcibly removes protester who slammed library book for ‘homosexuality and satanism’ https://t.co/a5TUMhr6iD
— The Christian Post (@ChristianPost) August 25, 2023