A Texas school district has pulled dozens of books from its library and classroom shelves ― including the Bible ― after they were challenged under a new policy supported by conservative leaders.
Before the start of the school year, Keller Independent School District, north of Fort Worth, is removing 42 books that were challenged last year by parents and community members, including a graphic adaptation of Anne Frank’s diary, “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison and “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe, The Texas Tribune reported.
Some of the books being removed were supposed to remain in student libraries after a school district committee made up of members of the public met last year and recommended that they remain in circulation.
However, since then three new conservative school board members were elected to the district’s seven-member board of trustees, The Texas Tribune reported. They were all reportedly supported by Christian political action committees.
Now the books are being pulled so they can be reviewed again under a new board policy approved last week, the district said in a statement.
According to the policy, any district resident or parent of a district student may formally challenge library material “on the basis of appropriateness.”
Materials that are in the challenge process will be removed from
Under the challenge for the Bible, the author was listed as “men who lived a long time ago.”
One Keller ISD parent, Laney Hawes, wrote in a Twitter thread this week that the new development was a “violation of our childrens constitutional rights.”
“These books went through the official district-established challenge committee process. But because they all passed the committee process, our extremist Christian nationalist school board decided the process was ‘rigged,’” Hawes wrote. “Sound familiar?”
“I served on the committee for The Diary of Anne Frank Graphic Novel. The person who challenged the book didn’t even show up to defend their position. But now the book is pulled,” Hawes added.
Amid Republican-led efforts to ban books from school libraries across the country, a report earlier this year by literary and free expression group PEN America found that more than 1,000 books had been banned over the past year in U.S. schools, with a significant number of those books related to race and the LGBTQ community.