A Texas school district canceled a scheduled visit from New York Times bestselling author Emma Straub after learning she “regularly used” foul language on social media.
The novelist was going to read her first children’s picture book, “Very Good Hats,” to kindergarteners and first graders at two elementary schools in the Katy Independent School District outside of Houston on Jan. 13, however, the district decided to rescind their invite a day before Straub’s visit, the Houston Chronicle reported.
“It has been brought to our attention that this author has regularly used inappropriate and foul language on her social media platforms — specifically repeated use of the ‘F’ word,” administrators wrote to parents and staff from both schools in an email on Jan. 12.”This type of language, as you know, does not align with our school and community’s values.”
“We apologize for any misunderstandings or inconvenience regarding this decision,” the district continued. “Though, ensuring we are consistently modeling appropriate behaviors and expectations for our students, both in the classroom and via other campus opportunities, is of high priority.”
One Katy ISD parent, Anne Russey, tweeted out a screenshot of a complaint she found from a fellow parent in which the parent posted an expletive-laced tweet from Straub and demanded the district “do better” vetting guest speakers.
“F-ck guns, f-ck people who care more about controlling women’s bodies than protecting all of us from people with guns, f-ck!” Straub tweeted on May 24, 2022. “It’s too much. So heartbroken.”
May 24, 2022 was the date of the massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas , in which 19 students and two teachers were mercilessly gunned down.
“Once again @katyisd caves to the unrelenting demands of parents who insist on restricting access and experiences for ALL students and not just their own,” Russey said in response to the cancellation.
Straub, who’s penned six novels including NYT’s bestsellers “This Time Tomorrow” and “Modern Lovers,” responded to Russey and said she was “sorry not to be able to read my silly book about hats and imagination to those kids.”
“The only F words in the presentation: funny, feline, feelings,” she said.
According to Chron, Katy ISD similarly canceled a scheduled event from award-winning author and cartoonist Jerry Craft in October.
The school removed the author’s books from its libraries after parents claimed the books professed “Critical Race Theory.” The district later rescheduled Craft’s visit and returned the books to the library, according to Chron.
In 2021, the school began removing books from its library it found “pervasively vulgar,” and opened an online portal for parents to suggest books that should be reviewed for their appropriateness for children.