Phil Bildner and Round Rock ISD
The official statement provided by the Round Rock ISD.
“Round Rock ISD has a tradition of inviting authors into our schools because it supports creativity, diverse perspectives, and promotes the importance of reading. Phil Bildner has been a regular visitor to our libraries for the past eight years. In making this determination to not have Mr. Bildner in our touring author program, our district’s leadership decided it was in the best interest of students to allocate our financial resources to bring different authors to our schools. The messages of tolerance and acceptance in Mr. Bildner books align with our district and schools’ goals for student learning; however, his message regarding children listening to their parents was not acceptable during his presentations last year, which played into our determination to not contract with him this year.
In multiple presentations last year, Mr. Bildner made a statement to students regarding not listening to the grownups in their lives. Although the intent of the statement may not have been advising students to directly disobey their parents, the message was not in alignment with the values of Round Rock ISD. We feel we are partners with every parent who joins our district and our goal is to work together to meet the individual needs of every student. Parents are our most valued partners. The role of the parent is the most important in a student’s education, and schools cannot afford to discredit our partners.
Due to their educational value and quality, books Mr. Bildner has authored and books he regularly references in his presentations have been and will continue to be in our libraries. Round Rock ISD has world class librarians who are champions for promoting reading, creating learning opportunities, and ensuring students have access to diverse and varied perspectives. These proud, professional educators are warriors for the written word. Our librarians are passionate about bringing their students’ favorite authors into our schools, and it would be a shame for this incident to lead to missed opportunities for students.”
Until Round Rock ceases its author blacklisting policy, ALL authors should avoid this place.
I’ve filed a request under Texas’ FOIA equivalent to see if I can dig up anything more concrete from Round Rock ISD. I’ve gotten a form letter response acknowledging my request, giving it a tracking number, and stating their standard price schedule for filling requests. We’ll see what comes of it.