San Antonio area school district examines 400 books reported by Texas lawmaker investigation

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A San Antonio-area school district is examining the contents of more than 400 books that were flagged in a Republican lawmaker’s investigation into the titles schools keep in their libraries.

The Northeast Independent School District, one of the largest districts in the state, is apparently the first district to respond directly to the state representative. Matt krause, R-Fort Worth, of which survey at the end of October on targeted books that relate to race or sexuality or “make students uncomfortable”.

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“For us, it is not about politics or censorship, but rather about ensuring that parents choose what is suitable for their minor children,” said Aubrey Chancellor, spokesperson for ISD North, on Monday. -East. “As a precaution, the NEISD has asked our staff to review the books on the Krause List to ensure they did not contain any obscene or vulgar content.”

Krause, a member of the Die-hard Conservative House Freedom Caucus who chairs the House General Inquiry Committee, has produced a list of around 850 books that deal with race and sexuality – mostly written by women, people. of color and LGBTQ writers – and asked school districts if they had them in their libraries.

Krause did not say how he came up with the list or what he planned to do with the information he gathered, saying he did not want to “compromise” an ongoing or potential investigation by his committee.

Northeast ISD officials determined that they had 414 of the titles Krause reported in their school libraries. More than 100 books have already been found to be age-appropriate, the Chancellor said.

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“This review process is proceeding apace and we anticipate that the majority of the books will be deemed appropriate,” she said.

In addition to reviewing the titles, the school district forms a committee to determine if certain books should be placed in a separate section of their libraries. The district is also adding an electronic tool that parents can use to see what books their children are viewing in the library.

a online petition, which collected 821 signatures, has since surfaced asking the district to stop its review of the Krause List, arguing that the reported books serve a purpose for students of color and the LGBTQ community.

“Many black and LGBT NEISD students are appalled and hurt by NEISD’s decision to comply with Matt Krause and remove our harmless resources and stories,” the petition read.

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School districts have been divided over how to respond to Krause’s investigation, the Fort Worth Independent School District saying it would comply and the Austin and Dallas school districts rejecting it.

The North East ISD ruling is the latest chapter in the recent debate in Texas over how race and sexuality are taught in schools – a debate that Gov. Greg Abbott also intervened.

Last month, Abbott asked state education officials to develop statewide standards for blocking books with “overtly sexual” content in schools. Executives from the Texas Education Agency and the State Board of Education have said they will comply. The governor also asked the TEA to launch an investigation on the possible “availability of pornography” in schools.

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Shannon Holmes, executive director of the Association of Texas Professional Educators, said in a statement that the organization respects North East ISD’s decision to comply with Krause’s request, but criticized the burden the investigation poses. on the time and resources of the districts.

“We continue to question the wisdom of a state legislator asking school districts to embark on these long and expensive investigations at a time when they already struggle to maintain the staffing levels necessary to conduct normal operations. “said Holmes.

Disclosure: The Association of Texas Professional Educators has financially supported The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, non-partisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations, and corporate sponsors. Financial support plays no role in the journalism of the Tribune. Find a suit list of them here.

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