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Keller Schools Ban Books About Trans and Nonbinary People



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“I do trust librarians, I trust our teachers and I want to know that I don’t have to look at this list. But here I am finding multiple books that unfortunately are part of the LGBTQ community,” said Joni Shaw Smith, a member of the Keller Independent School District board at last night’s meeting.

Keller ISD, whose board is backed by Patriot Mobile, voted 4-2 to ban any and all books featuring trans and nonbinary people from classrooms and libraries. Among those pushing against this policy was the ACLU, calling it an attempt to erase these identities and tell students they do not belong in the district.

Shaw Smith, a Moms for Liberty candidate who won her seat in the recent spring election, cited the most recent list of potential book purchases for the district as her cause for concern. Among the books on the list are the latest title by Adam Silvera, Jumper by Melanie Crowder, and Dead Flip by Sara Farizan. Now, thanks to the new policy, every book purchased for the school has to be approved by the right-wing board.

Any book, even with the mere mention of a trans or nonbinary character, is not allowed at the school. Below is the new criteria by which books will be assessed for purchase and use.

new keller ISD policy that outlines what can and cannot be in a book.

What’s crystal clear is that these parents are not parenting. They’re creating policies that allow them to offload the work of parenting to a policy that does it for them. It’s a blatant attack on queer people, and it’s one more brick pulled out of the structure of public education.

More time, effort, and money is being put into bigotry across schools in the state of Texas than in protecting the lives and safety of those attending the schools.

Find more news and stories of interest from the book world in Breaking in Books.