A new investigation by NBC News revealed public school districts across the state of Texas are moving toward banning books that discuss racism or sexuality.
In a small sample of 1,250 public school systems, NBC News found 75 formal requests by parents and community members to remove certain books from libraries during the fall semester of 2021.
The investigation comes just months after a state lawmaker launched a separate investigation into what type of books Texas school districts have.
Republican State Representative Matt Krause is mostly looking to find out if these books are about race or sexuality, or “make students feel discomfort.’
Rep. Krause is calling for 850 books on those topics to be removed from school libraries.
An analysis by the Dallas Morning News found a fraction of those titles were written by women, people of color and LGBTQ authors.
Separately, Republican Governor Greg Abbott has gone as far as calling for criminal charges for staff members who allow or give students access to young adult novels.
In aletter to the Texas Education Agency, Governor Abbott addressed the books as “pornography.”
A group of librarians has formed a group to push back against book banning in the state.
The group refers to itself as the #FReadom Fighters.
On its website, the group gives librarians and teachers resources to fight book challenges.
This isn’t the first time books have been challenged, of course.
Due to the history of book banning, the American Library Association has developed guidelines to prevent the sudden ban of books in schools.
Under the guidelines, parents need to fill out forms explaining why a book should be banned.
A committee of school employees and community volunteers will need to review the entire book and determine whether it meets the school district’s standards.
Pew reports school districts in at least 30 other states are also debating what books belong in schools.