Friday, October 2, 2015

Free People Read Freely - Texas Edition 2015

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas has produced a report on attempted book banning by Texas school districts for the last 19 years. I am delighted to report that challenges and actual bans decreased again last year. Out of 13 challenges, 2 books were banned in Texas schools during the 2014-2015 school year. The two books banned outright are Hans Wilhelm’s I Hate My Bow at Red Lick Elementary School and Andy Riley’s The Book of Bunny Suicides at Chapel Hill Junior High.

The results of this report are below and include the reasons given for each challenge, which makes for some amusing reading. Sometimes I just want to shake somebody and holler, "Get a grip!" 

Special mention for an outstanding job: Irving ISD and Round Rock ISD - Thank you for taking a stand.

Special mention for spineless panderingRed Lick ISD, Calhoun County ISD and Chapel Hill ISD, Titus County - way to model intellectual rigor and stand for liberal arts education, y'all!

Special mention for causing me a face-palmRed Lick ISD (AGAIN) - for removing I Hate My Bow by Han Wilhelm because of a parental objection to the word "hate."

Very very special mention for being totally clueless - The parent who objected to Santa Clause Around the World by Lisl Weil.

BANNED BOOKS (books removed from library shelves or class reading lists):
  1. I Hate My Bow by Han Wilhelm
  2. The Book of Bunny Suicides by Andy Riley
RESTRICTED BOOKS (books restricted to readers based on age, reading level, parental permission, etc.):
  1. The Host by Stephenie Meyer 
  2. Red Azalea by Anchee Min 
  3. Thirteen by Lauren Myracle 
  4. Drama by Raina Telgemeier 
CHALLENGED BOOKS (by school district):

Calhoun ISD

Book: Red Azalea by Anchee Min
School: Calhoun High School
Reason Cited: Sexual content; politically, racially, or socially offensive
Action Taken: Use restricted

Chapel Hill ISD, Titus County

Book: The Book of Bunny Suicides by Andy Riley
School: Chapel Hill Junior High
Reason Cited: Violence/Horror
Action Taken: Banned (removed from library)

Community ISD

Book: Drive-By by Lynn Ewing
School: McClendon Elementary
Reason Cited: Violence/horror
Action Taken: Alternate book allowed

Conroe ISD

Book: Thirteen by Lauren Myracle
School: Wilson Intermediate
Reason Cited: Profanity, sexual content, drugs or alcohol
Action Taken: Use restricted

Book: Santa Clause Around the World by Lisl Weil
School: Powell Elementary
Reason Cited: Violence or horror; “There was a description of a horned figure taking children”
Action Taken: Retained

Highland Park ISD

Book: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
School: Highland Park High School
Reason Cited: Profanity, sexual content
Action Taken: Retained

Irving ISD

Book: Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
School: MacArthur High School
Reason Cited: “Subject matter not appropriately presented”
Action Taken: Retained

Meridian World School

Book: The Natural by Bernard Malamud
School: Meridian School – High School
Reason Cited: Sexual content
Action Taken: Alternate book allowed

New Braunfels ISD

Book: Drama by Raina Telgemeier
School: Seele Elementary
Reason Cited: Parent felt subject matter too advanced for elementary students
Action Taken: Use Restricted

Red Lick ISD

Book: The Host by Stephenie Meyer
School: Red Lick Middle School
Reason Cited: Offensive to religious sensibilities
Action Taken: Use restricted

Book: I Hate My Bow by Han Wilhelm
School: Red Lick Elementary
Reason Cited: Parent didn’t like the word “hate”
Action Taken: Banned (removed from library)

Round Rock ISD

Book: The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow
School: Deerpark Middle School
Reason Cited: Sexual content
Action Taken: Retained

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