A Texas school district is removing and reviewing dozens of challenged books, including the Bible and an Anne Frank adaptation

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The Keller Independent School District Board of Trustees last week passed policies that set new standards for how books and other instructional materials are selected for schools, including giving books a 30-day public review before buying them by libraries and removing them. challenged materials from the shelves as they are judged.

“All books in Tuesday’s email have been included in Keller ISD’s Book Challenge list for the past year. Books that meet the new guidelines will be returned to libraries once they’re confirmed to comply with the new policy,” said the spokesman. statement said.

In the Keller School District, parents, staff, and community residents can file formal objections or challenges to books and instructional materials used in schools. A committee then assesses whether the material is educationally appropriate and decides whether the material will remain in schools, the district website says.

The group may also decide to limit the use of the material to certain grades or students who receive parental consent.

Books that have been challenged in the past year include some that explore LGBTQ experiences, such as George M. Johnson’s “All Boys Are Not Blue,” which the committee decided to keep in high schools, and Maia Kobabe’s “Gender Queer,” which was removed from the district’s campuses, according to the district website. Toni Morrison’s novel “The Bluest Eye” was also challenged and preserved by the committee.

The new policy for library and teaching materials was unanimously approved by the board of directors on August 8. The decision came as discussions about school library books and curricula have become major issues across the country.

“We are very pleased that our new inevitable school board has made these changes,” said a speaker during the public comment portion of the Aug. 8 Keller school board meeting. “This is just the beginning, I hope.”

An April analysis by PEN America, an organization committed to literary and free speech, found 1,586 books were banned in 86 school districts in 26 states from July 31, 2021 to March 31, 2022. Texas led the country with the most book bans. 713, the analysis shows, followed by Pennsylvania and Florida.
“The sweeping effort to remove these titles from classrooms and libraries on the eve of a new school year is a horrendous affront to First Amendment rights for students. It is virtually impossible to run a school or library that sells books.” cleans up in response to a complaint from every quarter,” Jonathan Friedman, director of free speech and education programs at PEN America, said in a statement.

“The whole situation reflects trends across the country toward education censorship, a recipe for boring schools and education with the lowest common denominator. This directive from Keller ISD should be repealed immediately, Friedman said.

Wednesday is the first day of school for the district.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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