San Antonio area school district reviews 400 books highlighted by Texas Representative Matt Krause’s investigation

A school district in the San Antonio area is reviewing the contents of more than 400 books that were flagged in a Republican lawmaker’s investigation into titles schools keep in their libraries.

The video above is from an earlier story.

The North East Independent School District, one of the largest in the state, appears to be the first to respond directly to the state Representative. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, who has investigation at the end of October targeted books related to race or sex or “makes students feel uncomfortable.”

“For us, this is not about politics or censorship, it’s about making sure parents choose what’s right for their teen,” a North East ISD spokesman said. Aubrey Chancellor said Monday. “Out of an abundance of caution, NEISD has asked our staff to review the books on Krause’s list to ensure that they do not have any sexually explicit or vulgar material in them.”

Krause, a member of the House Liberal Conservatives who chairs the House Joint Inquiry Committee, put together a list of about 850 books dealing with race and sex – mostly authored of women, people of color, and LGBTQ writers — and asked school districts if they already had them in their libraries.

Krause has not said how he developed the list or what he plans to do with the information gathered, and says he doesn’t want to “compromise” with a pending or potential investigation by his committee. .

Northeast ISD officials determined that they had 414 Krause-flagged titles in their school library. More than 100 books have been deemed age appropriate, the Chancellor said.

“This review process is happening rapidly and we anticipate the majority of the books will be deemed appropriate,” she said.

In addition to reviewing titles, the district is forming a committee to determine if certain books need to be moved to a separate section of their library. The district is also adding an electronic tool that parents can use to see what books their child is buying in the library.

One online recommendations, which has garnered 821 signatures, has since emerged calling on the district to stop reviewing the Krause listing, arguing that the flagged books serve students of color and the LGBTQ community.

“Many Black and LGBT students in NEISD are appalled and traumatized by NEISD’s decision to adhere to Matt Krause and suppress our harmless stories and resources,” the petition reads. .

SEE RELATED STORY: Spring Branch ISD Says It Bans Books With Sexual Content, Not Because It Has Transgender Characters

School districts have been divided on how to respond at Krause’s request, with the Fort Worth Independent School District saying it would comply and the Austin and Dallas school districts would refute it.

The North East ISD decision is the latest chapter in a recent Texas debate about how race and sex are taught in schools — a debate that the Gov. Greg Abbott also entered.

Last month, Abbott asked state education officials develop statewide standards for blocking “excessively sexually explicit” books in schools. The leaders of the Texas Education Agency and the State Board of Education said they would comply. The Governor has also requested that the TEA must launch an investigation on the “availability of pornography” in schools.

Shannon Holmes, executive director of the Texas Association of Professional Educators, said in a statement that the organization respects North East ISD’s decision to comply with Krause’s request but criticizes the burden that life carries. investigations put on the time and resources of school districts.

“We continue to question the wisdom of a state legislator asking school districts to embark on these time-consuming and costly investigations at a time when they are struggling,” said Holmes. difficulty in maintaining the level of staff required for normal business operations.

SEE RELATED STORY: Katy ISD parents want to check books from county libraries after claiming they found ‘porn’

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans – and interacts with them – about public policy, politics, government, and statewide issues. San Antonio area school district reviews 400 books highlighted by Texas Representative Matt Krause’s investigation

Dais Johnston

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