CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Just before Waldron Road, the conservative group, County Citizens Defending Freedom of Nueces County (CCDF) protested books with an alleged sexual or LGBTQ nature, as well as expressing the need to monitor teacher’s social media pages.
Cameron Rhodes is one of the teachers counter protesting in Flour Bluff. It was organized by Corpus Christi American Federation of Teachers.
“We have a library of books that feature queer characters," she said. "And the kids love the library. They love being able to see themselves represented in books. That’s really important to them. I like being able to make them feel love and supported in the classroom because sometimes they don’t get that at home.”
CCDF-USA is a political group with chapters sprouting up across the country. The group has been known to monitor educators social media pages if they are sharing personal views.
“They’re driving so many good teachers that I know to quit," Rhodes said. "One of my best friends just quit teaching because of things like this."
Rhodes finds it frustrating her social media is being monitored by the group. She said her private life is just that, private.
“As a queer person, as a an educator, it really frustrates me to see this erasure of LGBTQ people in the classroom. Because I have queer students and I am a queer educator and we exist,” said Rhodes.
Mariah Boone is another educator who was protesting.
"Public education is the base rock of our democracy. It's where all different kinds of people are supposed to be able to come together and get an evidence based education. And of course not everyone wants their kids to know different kinds of people."
Boone said that if parents want religion to influnence their child's education, she suggests they send their kids to private school.
Boone isn't too concerned about attacks that come to her social media, if they occur.
“They want to present themselves as Christian and caring about children. But you don’t use those kinds of intimidation tactics when you’re a Christian or when you care about children,” she said.
A third group at the protest was there supporting both sides through the heat on Saturday, offering everyone free refreshments. They are members of the Rock City Church that too want certain books banned from school libraries.
Marlene Villarreal is one of those members talking to both sides. She said she has 20 grandchildren with half of them currently in Corpus Christi Independent School District.
“I have grand children in the school system and pornography is ready available in their school libraries.”
Villarreal showed KRIS 6 News a book that depicts heterosexual and homosexual acts, that she claims can be found in a CCISD library. The book titled "It's Perfectly Normal" by Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley was not found in an online search of the school district's libraries.
Villarreal did add that her group is not for monitoring teacher’s social media pages.