Denton Public Library cancels Rainbow StoryTime
Following backlash from inside and outside the community, Denton Public Library announced the cancellation of “Rainbow StoryTime” on Monday.
The event, which was scheduled for Saturday, was to feature three read picture books to children aged 2 to 8. The books were “Red: The Story of a Pencil” by Michael Hall, “I am a girl” by Yasmeen Ismail and “What Riley Wore” by Elana K. Arnold.
The story hour event, one of more than 300 programs the library runs per season, drew “disrespectful and hostile complaints” based on inaccurate information, according to a library statement. Reports of the event alleged that story time focused on teaching gender identity, sex, sexual orientation and the ‘indoctrination’ of children into a transgender lifestyle. .
Due to the nature of the complaints, the statement said there were concerns about the safety of attendees and city staff.
“Because above all we need to provide a safe environment for our programs, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the event,” library staff said in the statement.
Candidate for Governor Don Huffines was one of the opponents of Rainbow StoryTime.
Following the announcement of the cancellation, the Huffines campaign released a statement calling the event “Transgender StoryTime” and accusing the event of attempting to expose children to inappropriate sexual material and ideology.
“Children shouldn’t be used as pawns by adults with a sex agenda,” Huffines said.
The summary for “Red: A Crayon’s Story” is posted on the Denton Public Library website:
Red’s factory-applied label makes it clear that he’s red, but despite the best efforts of his teacher, fellow pencils and art supplies, and family members, he can’t seem to do anything about it. good until a new friend offers a new perspective.
The summary of “I am a girl” is also published:
“When a rough and tumble little girl, sometimes mistaken for a boy, meets a boy who enjoys wearing princess dresses and playing with dolls, a wonderful friendship is born.”
A summary of “What Riley Wore” is also available on the Denton Public Library website:
“Riley, a genre designer, knows exactly what to wear for every occasion during a busy week with family and friends. “
The Denton Public Library said none of the books planned for Rainbow StoryTime use the word transgender or mention characters born in one way and transforming into another.
“The StoryTime offers books on family, friendship and being yourself. Its intention is to provide an inviting atmosphere for families to hear stories together featuring books focused on self-acceptance, learning and friendship, ”the library statement read.
“This story hour takes place three times a year and is scheduled to coincide with days dedicated to ‘different’ or marginalized groups, such as Transgender Day of Remembrance in November,” according to the library. “For this reason, an incorrect program title, using the word ‘transgender’, was mistakenly used in a recent program printout which has now been corrected.”
The library said city staff would work to reschedule the event. As of Wednesday, no postponement date had been set by the library.
But local mom Amber Briggle decided to organize a similar event, reported the Denton Record-Chronicle. The free event, described as “a story hour of friendship, transgender youth and acceptance,” will be presented by the Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and Armadillo Ale Works at the Cafe and Brewery, 221 S. Bell Ave ., at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
This story was originally published November 16, 2021 7:00 p.m.