Governor Greg Abbott today sent a letter to Texas Education Agency (TEA) Commissioner Mike Morath directing the agency to investigate any criminal activity in public schools involving the availability of pornographic material that serves no educational purpose. The Governor also directed the agency to report any instance of pornography being provided to minors under the age of 18 for prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.
This letter comes after the Governor directed TEA, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, and the Texas State Board of Education to immediately develop statewide standards to ensure no child is exposed to pornography or other inappropriate content in a Texas public school yesterday. Governor Abbott previously called upon the Texas Association of School Boards to shield children from pornography and other inappropriate content, but the association abdicated their responsibility to address the issue.
“In Texas, it is illegal to provide pornography to anyone under the age of 18 according to
Section 43.24 of the Texas Penal Code,” reads the letter. “The fact that pornographic material that serves no educational purpose has been made available to students in Texas public schools is a clear violation of the law. That is why I am directing the Texas Education Agency to investigate any criminal activity in our public schools involving the availability of pornography. During this investigation, I ask the agency to refer any instance of pornography being provided to minors under the age of 18 for prosecution to the fullest extent of the law. We have a responsibility to ensure that no Texas child is exposed to pornography or obscene content while in a Texas public school, and your investigation will help accomplish this mission.”