A new survey of BNC News revealed that public school districts in the state of Texas are moving towards banning books that deal with racism or sexuality.
In a small sample of 1,250 public school systems, NBC News found 75 formal requests from parents and community members to remove certain books from libraries during the fall 2021 semester.
The investigation comes just months after a state legislator launched a separate investigation into what kind of books Texas school districts have.
Republican State Rep. Matt Krause is primarily interested in whether these books deal with race or sexuality, or whether they “make students uncomfortable.”
Rep. Krause is calling for 850 books on these subjects to be removed from school libraries.
An analysis by the Dallas Morning News found a fraction of these titles were written by women, people of color, and LGBTQ authors.
Separately, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has gone so far as to seek criminal charges against staff members who allow or give students access to young adult novels.
In one letter at the Texas Education Agency, Governor Abbott called the books “pornography”.
A group of librarians have formed a group to push back against the book ban in the state.
The group calls itself the #FReadom Fighters.
On his websitethe group gives librarians and teachers resources to tackle book challenges.
This isn’t the first time books have been challenged, of course.
Due to the history of book banning, the American Library Association has developed guidelines to prevent the sudden banning of books in schools.
According to the guidelines, parents must fill out forms explaining why a book should be banned.
A committee of school employees and community volunteers should review the entire book and determine if it meets school district standards.
Pew reports that school districts in at least 30 other states are also debating which books belong in schools.