Saturday, October 1, 2016

Free People Read Freely - Texas Edition 2016


The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas has produced a report on attempted book banning by Texas school districts each year for twenty years. The 2016 report is not as favorable as last year's report. While challenges held steady, bans more than doubled. Out of thirteen challenges, five books were banned in Texas schools during the 2015-2016 school year. The results of this report are below and include the reasons given for each challenge, which makes for some interesting reading.  

Special mention for an outstanding jobMontgomery ISD, Northwest ISD, Orenda Charter School, and Taylor ISD - Thank you for taking a stand and retaining the challenged books.

Very special mention for being totally uncivilized: The "third party" who physically destroyed a book, and who was possibly an inquisitor in a former life.

CHALLENGED BOOKS (by school district):

Beaumont ISD
Book: World Geography (McGraw-Hill)
School: Pearland High School
Reason cited: Describes African slaves as "workers" and "immigrants" 
Action taken: Banned

Blum ISD
Book: Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary by Walter Dean Myers
School: Blum High School
Reason cited: Offensive to religious sensitivities; politically, racially, or socially offensive
Action taken: Banned

Harmony ISD
Book: Black Butler #5 and #6 by Yana Toboso
School: Harmony School of Advancement
Reason Cited: Offensive to religious sensitivities; witchcraft, satanic, and occult themes
Action taken: Destroyed by third party; school reimbursed

Kirbyville CISD
Book: Drama by Raina Telgemeier
School: Kirbyville Junior High School
Reason cited: Politically, racially, or socially offensive
Action taken: Banned

McKinney ISD
Book: This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki
School: Webb Elementary
Reason cited: Inappropriate for grade levels
Action taken: Use restricted; books transferred to high schools

Montgomery ISD
Book: The Highwayman (Poem) by Alfred Noyes
School: Montgomery Junior High
Reason cited: Profanity; sexual content or nudity; violence or horror; drugs or alcohol
Action taken: Retained

New Braunfels ISD
Book: I Survived (The Attacks of September 11, 2001) by Lauren Tarshis
School: Memorial Elementary School
Reason cited: The word "terrorist" being used
Action taken: Use restricted, alternate assignment provided

Northside ISD
Book: Homeroom Diaries by James Patterson
School: Northside Secondary School
Reason cited: Profanity
Action taken: Use restricted

Northwest ISD
Book: Pugdog by Andrea U'ren
School: Beck Elementary School
Reason cited: Politically, racially, or socially offensive; about gender confusion and identity; also promotes cross-dressing
Action taken: Retained

Orenda Charter School
Book: The Stranger by Albert Camus
School: Gateway College Preparatory School
Reason cited: Violence or horror; offensive to religious sensitivities
Action taken: Retained

Poth ISD
Book: The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe
School: Poth Junior High
Reason cited: Violence or horror; offensive to religious sensitivities
Action taken: Banned

Book: The Monkey's Paw by W.W. Jacobs
School: Poth Junior High
Reason cited: Violence or horror
Action taken: Banned

Taylor ISD
Book: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
School: Taylor Middle School
Reason cited: Politically, racially, or socially offensive
Action taken: Retained; novel found to be appropriate according to local policy EFA

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