The Trend of Book Bans

In the events of the state, several school districts in Texas have been following this “witch hunt” of banning certain books in their libraries, many covering issues on race, gender, and sexuality. The topic of critical race theory and the state legislations regarding its existence in K-12 schools in combination for political recognition have become the roots of this state occurrence. State Rep. Matt Krause, who is running for Texas attorney general, had launched an investigation into Texas’ school district libraries and had set a request to the Texas Education Agency and school superintendents. He was the interconnected source to the political sphere but interesting, he asked for the representativHe wanted to have identification of other books or content that involved topics evoking discomfort, guilt, or other varieties of psychological distress based on gender or race amongst students. State Representative Matt Krause had demanded for educators to provide information on owning books and the money spent on them from a list of 850 titles. This list had been reflected in violating the passed legislation of House Bill 3979 (more information at in which would be superseded with Senate Bill 3 (more information at

This list of books includes:

  • How to Be an Antiracist from Ibram X. Kendi – reveals the depth of integrated racism in society and provides guidance into extinguishing it through individual actions and change.
  • So You Want to Talk About Race from Ijeoma Oluo – dives into the intricate and varied actuality of modern society’s landscape of race and provides directives in dissolves the deepening racial divisiveness.
  • The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me from Olivia Hinebaugh – emphasizes the issues of a proper sexual health education in high school and brings upon a modernized perspective to old-fashioned sex ed programs.
  • Identity: A Story of Transitioning from Corey Maison – addresses the perspective of Corey Maison and her story of transitioning and bringing awareness to the youth regarding gender dysphoria as it is ignored in society’s current culture.
  • Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag from Rob Sanders – tells the significant historical context of the Gay Pride Flag with its roots in social activism and its global impact to current society.
  • When Aidan Became a Brother from Kyle Lukoff – depicts a story about a transgender child.
  • The Great American Whatever from Tim Federle – tells a story about a teenage boy and his handling of tragedy and exploring his sexuality. This book is depicted in the image at the top of the article.

Many school districts have begun banning and evaluating many books in accordance with parent complaints.

In Spring Branch Independent School District, the removal of a children’s book including a transgender character, Cathy G. Johnson’s The Breakaways occurred from a parent complaint to a committee of librarians. Teachers and administrators had reviewed this information with recommendations on banning it from elementary school libraries.

In Katy Independent District, a group of nearly 400 parents had complained and pushed for the district to cancel a visit from author, Jerry Craft, known for his graphic novel New Kid. This was resulted in their claims of critical race theory and Marxism in which the district had temporarily prohibited in libraries as they furthered reviewed its contents.

Additionally, this trend of book bans has caused many concerns from teachers and confusion on abiding by state legislations.

In Southlake, Carroll Independent School District had stirred concerns for teachers and the involvement of the newly emplaced legislations to a wider audience. The administrator for the district had advised teachers on offering accessibility to books with various perspectives or rather opposing views on the Holocaust. This comment had been made by the district’s executive director of curriculum and instruction, Gina Peddy, during a training session for teachers. A staff member of the district had secretly recorded and shared audio from the training. This “policy” had been advised or rather implemented to follow the guidelines in offering multiple perspectives to debated and controversial issues. This had resulted in various complications and uncertainties amongst administrators, teachers, and political figures in Texas entirely.

And so, how would this recent trend of book banning influence Houston Independent School District? The combination of underfunding, understaffing, following policies regarding COVID-19 policies, and teaching under a pandemic have already been piled as difficulties for teachers. A source from Westside High School claims, “I don’t think any books should be banned, because students should be able to access any information that they wish to access. I think it is a push from parents mostly, maybe parents who fear their kids learning different thoughts. But I do think that if certain books are banned from school, kids will find the information somewhere and so I think it’s important to provide them with information that’s credible. I am not a fan of the book banning and it is a scary situation. I am shocked with some titles on the list. I do think that the system is confusing. No one is really talking about it. It is scary to think that a job that I love and am passionate about could be at risk because someone is angry about whatever I am teaching.”

This trend can result in upholding exclusivity in the state and become detrimental to the open-mindedness of students entirely. Teachers have become involved in this political conflict and prompted mass debate over the entire situation. Books are gateways to new perspectives and ideas in which students are able to engage in, not conformities to supporting every student’s liking. Novels should evoke sensations to the reader and should not be forbidden and casted away for its seemingly radical views regarding equality and society.