Leander Independent School District (LISD), located in Leander, Texas, has vehemently denied Governor Greg Abbott’s recent accusation that the district declined to distribute copies of the Constitution to its students. The district officials assert that this claim is simply unfounded and lacks any basis in truth.
The controversy began over the weekend when a right-wing news outlet called “The Epoch Times” published an article alleging that LISD had rejected 4,000 pocket copies of the United States Constitution, which were generously donated to the district by the conservative group Citizens Defending Freedom. The article further claimed that the district initially refused the documents, deeming them to be “political material,” before ultimately accepting them.
Governor Abbott took to the popular social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, to share the article and express his outrage, stating, “That’s outrageous. EVERY school should teach the Constitution.” However, LISD promptly responded on the same platform, refuting the allegations. In a direct message to Governor Abbott, the district clarified, “Good morning @GregAbbott_TX. This information is not accurate. Our middle school campuses have been accepting this donation since Friday in recognition of Celebrate Freedom Week.”
To provide further clarification, LISD released a statement to FOX 7 Austin Monday night, explaining the sequence of events. The district highlighted that the middle schools had received the donated materials on Friday, September 15, in observance of Celebrate Freedom Week and Constitution Day. Initially, there was some confusion regarding how the donated materials aligned with district policies and procedures. At first, administrative staff considered the donation as an instructional resource, which necessitates meeting a higher standard of criteria before being shared with students. However, upon determining that the materials were non-school literature, the district found that they fell within different parameters outlined in GKDA (LOCAL). Consequently, the pocket-sized Constitutions were made available to all middle school campuses.
In response to LISD’s statement, Andrew Mahaleris, a spokesperson for Governor Abbott, issued a statement to FOX 7 Austin, emphasizing the importance of teaching the U.S. Constitution in public schools. Mahaleris expressed satisfaction with LISD’s change in policy, stating, “There should be no question whether a public school in Texas teaches the U.S. Constitution. We are glad they changed their policies after initially refusing to distribute the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.”
Despite the initial claims made by “The Epoch Times” and subsequently echoed by Governor Abbott, it has now been clarified that Leander ISD did not reject the donated copies of the Constitution. The district remains committed to adhering to clear and consistent guidelines while providing educational resources to its students.