Watching out for students or political play?

A closer look at Texas book bans

Lily J. , Senior Staff Writer

Picture this, you go to your school library at lunch to pick up a book you have been dying to read. But you see that the book is not there anymore – along with many others that have gone missing.


Recently, Texas public libraries and school libraries have experienced the threat of book bans. School boards and Governor Greg Abbot are making these decisions based on the opinion that certain books are “pornographic” or may “indoctrinate” students. LGBTQIA+ and critical race theory/racism are common themes in the threatened books. According to a December 2021 article in The New York Times, in many southern states, specifically Texas, conservative voices have claimed the majority on school boards in larger suburban districts.

In the Supreme Court case of Island Trees School District v. Pico (1982) it was ruled that the First Amendment limits the power of junior high and high school officials to remove books from school libraries because of their content. So why is this still happening? 

¨It’s still a hot button topic,¨ said Katie Eaton, a concerned parent. ¨There are either people who agree with it…or say absolutely not and won’t support it. It’s more like fear of the unknown. There’s a lot of closed-mindedness going on. No one’s making you read it.¨ 

¨Everyone has their own personal opinions,” Eaton said. ¨I just think conversations need to happen. I would just have to have a conversation about what my kids are reading. 

On State Representative Matt Krause’s (R-Dist.93) list of books that should be banned, 62% had to do with LGBTQIA+ topics. Although, on this list of 850+ books you won’t find any cancellable conservative topics such as gun control, pro-life movements, or gender-critical beliefs. The books on this list are all challenged for having sex education, race, LGBTQ+ lives and even the teaching of human rights. 

It was found that 96% of the bans were initiated by school administrators or board members which means that for the most part school officials did not follow the existing guidelines which is raising concern. All of these restrictions represent an effort to maintain the values of a certain gathering of parents- conservative whites. Florida Governor Ron Desantis (R- Florida) argued that parents want education for their kids. ¨They are not interested in indoctrination through the school system,¨ Desantis said. 

Not everyone agrees that ¨indoctrination¨ (to teach especially the ideas, opinions, or beliefs of a certain group) is actually happening.

¨They [parents] aren’t in the classroom,¨ said ELA teacher Dana Nabors. ¨They don’t see what we see. They need to spend the time in the classroom to see. We need to expose our children to these things but not in detail,” Nabors said. ¨But then again, its freedom of choice.¨ 

Perhaps the books on library shelves are up for debate by people who are not a part of any school system for reasons that have nothing to do with students. What some seem to ignore is that even if the books are banned from schools or public libraries, kids can still access them online and bring them to school for other students to see.