‘Pornographic’ book assigned to 14-year-olds at Texas High School upsets parents

Texas News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – A reading assignment at Eastlake High School is being described as ‘pornographic’ and has parents concerned, saying the sexually graphic nature of the book is completely inappropriate and should not be assigned to students, especially with out parental consent.

The book is called The Perks of Being a Wallflower and it’s not new to controversy. In fact, according to Marshall Libraries, it has been challenged or banned by numerous entities every year since 2003.

Elda Marmolejos, who has a child enrolled in Eastlake High, said she feels the book should not be assigned to such a young age group, especially with out parental consent.

“My concern is that my child was assigned a very inappropriate book by his English Teacher. There was no parent consent form sent out for me to sign. He basically said that the book was graphic and they needed to act like adults. The content is very inappropriate. It talks about sex, drugs, alcohol [and] minor abuse. It goes into detail about teenager being raped and she goes to get an abortion without parental consent. It is very graphic and it is very inappropriate for such a young age group to be reading and just having access to it at a Texas public school. [There is also a part] Where two boys are having sex and the book goes into detail about [it.]

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Marmolejos said she feels as though the school let her down.

“I believe that a teacher’s job is to teach children or students how to think not what to think. I think it should be up to the parents to decide what’s appropriate. We try to teach them morals at home we try to teach them wrong from right.

Such sexual content is something that a parent should sit down with their child and talk about. That is not the teachers role. We have lived in the state of Texas for years, my kids have grown up here and I never thought that I would have to be dealing with this.

As far as parent consent, I think the teacher should have used more transparency.  He did send out a syllabubs at the beginning of the year but the only thing it said is that there was controversial material. That is broad.”

Elda Marmolejos

Marmolejos said she met with the Principal of Eastlake High School and librarians from the school and the SISD, but she said she felt they spent the entire meeting trying to ‘defend’ the teacher and convince her they followed policy.

In a meeting that was taped by Marmolejos, with the consent of all in the meeting, a school administrator said, “What I want to do is we’re validating why he chose the book – we want to go through the rest of the policies legal and local.”

At another point in the meeting another school administrator said,

“Is the content appropriate for the freshman? I think you and I can both agree its very very questionable. It’s probably not the most appropriate.”

Marmolejos also spoke at an SISD board meeting however the book was not on the agenda.

In a previous interview with KTSM 9 News Anchor Christina Aguayo, Governor Greg Abbott talked about his order to remove pornography from schools, and launch investigations into those schools who kept in on the shelves,

Marmolejos said she would do anything to safeguard her children, even alert the governor, who signed an executive order which says pornography must be removed from public schools

“I saw the image that was in one of these books that was available for students in schools and it is clearly unequivocally pornography. There is a state law against providing pornography to anyone under the age of 18. There’s a state law against providing porn to anyone under the age of 18 and that’s exactly what some of these schools have done, as a result these schools have been immediately removing these books from their libraries. That’s what we expect from these schools, and more importantly that’s what parents expect from these schools. Parents they want their child to go school and learn not to be indoctrinated into something that would involve pornography. My job as governor and the job of education leaders in the state is to make sure we are educating our children to be competitive in the workforce not indoctrinating them with things like pornography.

Governor Greg Abbott

Socorro ISD officials tell KTSM 9 that their policy allows parents to request a formal review – after the informal inquiry that was made about this particular book. They add that the school and the district are reviewing how parents are notified about books with a graphic nature being used in class.

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