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Texas District Yanks 400 Books

Legislator sent a list of 800 titles to review
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2021 4:20 PM CST
School District to Reconsider 400 Books
"New Kid," by Jerry Craft, is one of 800 books a Texas legislator is questioning school districts about.   (Quill Tree Books via AP)

(Newser) – A letter from a legislator has prompted one of the largest school districts in Texas to look for "obscene or vulgar material" in more than 400 library books. While they're being reviewed, the books will no longer be on library shelves, NBC reports. Republican state Rep. Matt Krause, who's running for attorney general, sent a list of about 800 books to districts, asking them to tell him how many copies of each they have and how the books were paid for. San Antonio's North East Independent School District said 414 of its books are on Krause's list and will be reviewed to make sure they're age appropriate.

A spokeswoman said the district already was reviewing its catalog, after deciding last year that one book was inappropriate; the district said it has about 800,000 books. "For us, this is not about politics or censorship, but rather about ensuring that parents choose what is appropriate for their minor children," Aubrey Chancellor said. More than 100 books have been reviewed and returned to circulation so far, she said. Other Texas school districts, including those in Dallas and Austin, have refused to comply with Krause's request, per NPR.

Krause's list includes New Kid, by Jerry Craft, a graphic novel about a seventh grader who's one of the few minority students attending a prestigious private school. Another district removed the book in October after parents objected to it, saying the John Newbery Medal-winning book endorsed critical race theory. It's since been returned to school libraries. The titles Krause names concern gender identity, sexuality, race, and sexual health issues, per NPR. Other books on the list are The Confessions of Nat Turner, which won a Pulitzer Prize, and We the Students: Supreme Court Cases For and About Students. (Read more books stories.)

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