banned book texas school district critical race theory
Teachers who spoke to The Texas Tribune worry that a so-called critical race theory law will chill discussions and lessons about social studies and current events, giving students an incomplete and white-centric view of the world. (Texas Tribune)
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One school district in Texas is censoring books — and the teachers are not happy about it. Educators at Carroll Independent School District in Southlake, Texas, were recently informed about changes to classroom policy — and the new policy is tantamount to banning books.

Administrators’ new rules for governing books include grading books based on the number of narratives, and eliminating those that are considered “offensive.” The changes follow the Caroll school board’s reprimand of a Carroll teacher who had a copy of “This Book is Anti-Racist” in their classroom. One parent stated the book violated their family’s moral and faith beliefs, and that the matter was not solved in a satisfactory manner. 

Meanwhile, teachers are fighting mad. “Now history is being depicted through this rose-colored lens and all of this is creating a chilling effect that’s going to hurt our students,” said one angry teacher.

Teachers speak out against censorship

In fact, a group of teachers spoke to NBC news about the censorship — and all chose to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation. “One of the questions we’re supposed to ask is ‘Does the writer have a neutral stance on the topic?’” one teacher said. “Well, if you are Toni Morrison, how can you have a neutral stance toward racism?”

texas school district critical race theory

Particularly galling to the teachers is the effect the administrators’ move will have on their young students. Data and Research confirms children are more likely to become voracious readers if they discover books they find interesting, and censoring books impacts those opportunities. 

Teachers were being provided guidance on judging books at a district educator in service program. The educators will be instructed on how to remove books that are found to be objectionable. 

The move to ban books comes on the heels of Texas passing SB1, which bans educators from teaching Critical Race Theory in classrooms. Critical Race Theory examines history, culture, and social movements through the lens of systemic racism and white supremacy. 

Erika Stone is a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Oklahoma, and a graduate assistant at Schusterman Library. A Chess Memorial Scholar, she has a B.A. in Psychology...

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