The Republican mayor of McKinney, Texas, said this week that he is "ashamed of the political party that I affiliate with" regarding the effort to have certain books removed from school classrooms and libraries around the country, The Dallas Morning News reports.
McKinney became entangled in the book-removing effort in February, when parents Paul and Rachel Elliott challenged the district to remove 282 books they deemed "sexually explicit." But according to McKinney ISD spokesman Cody Cunningham, the Elliotts “did not complete the process to challenge the books and have not pursued any additional book challenges.”
“Over the past decade, only five books have been challenged in McKinney ISD, and currently the district has no requests for reconsideration,” Cunningham said. “Despite the fact that school library books are being used to advance political agendas, our librarians take great measures to ensure that library resources are safe and appropriate for students.”
This Wednesday, McKinney Mayor George Fuller said Republicans are using the issue as a "battle cry, a political tactic, a partisan tactic,” at the expense of children and teachers.
“Individuals are trying to hijack the Republican party. They’re divisive people that are hurting this country. ... Our country is at great risk," he said. “They’re damaging our children, our most precious commodity, and using them as their new pawn.”