Library Books Under Review
Kaitlin Arocho, Editor-in-Chief
On October 28, 2021, Texas lawmaker, Matt Krause, sent out a list consisting of 850 books. This list of books was sent to school districts all across Texas along with a message that asked the schools to report any book from the list that is housed in a campus library, along with how much money was spent on the books.
A KSAT article published last month states that the books on the list “touch on race and sexuality — mostly authored by women, people of color and LGBTQ writers,” leading many to wonder why it is exactly what Krause’s motives are. Krause did not explain his plans for what happens after schools have reported the information he requested.
Some school districts have chosen to ignore the request, but NEISD has taken steps to comply, initiating reviews of many books found on Krause’s list.
According to a spokesperson for NEISD, there were some books from the list already under review before the list was released. “Some books were not appropriate for their placement,” Principal David Crowe said. “Some of it has to do with the level which the book was at, some of the books were at the elementary school level that absolutely should not be there. There was one book in particular that the district came across and that’s really what prompted this whole review process.”
The book in question was a 1955 edition and had not been checked out since 1988. “When you have a book that’s been on the shelf for a long long time and no one can explain why it hadn’t been weeded out, it’s subject to be questioned. If a book hasn’t been checked out in 34-35 years is it even relevant any more?” Mr. Crowe said.
Regardless of Krause’s objectives, the court case Board of Education v. Pico (1982) states “in the school setting a student’s right to receive available viewpoints cannot be suppressed by school officials merely because they politically disagree with the information.” Essentially, the court held that there are very limited circumstances under which books can be pulled from school library shelves.
Many students hope that the district remembers this law and considers their rights during the review process.