Banned Books

Texas Education Agency Weighs in on Library Book Debate

NBCUniversal, Inc.

The Texas Education Agency is now getting into the debate over library books and what students have access to in schools.

Last year Governor Greg Abbott asked TEA to come up with a policy to govern how school books wind up in libraries.

The policy, much like everything TEA does, is a mere guideline for school boards and districts, but actual rules and policies are at the discretion of each individual school board.

Groups of parents and republican lawmakers have targeted books in schools that address LGBTQ and racial issues and requested they be banned from school libraries.

More candidates are running for office in school board elections right now with the hope of putting a majority of candidates on the school board to remove books addressing race and LGBTQ content.

The new policies from TEA aim to make it easier for parents to review and ultimately request the removal of books in school libraries.

The policy suggests having a committee that votes on whether books should remain but did say books can't be pulled just because the school board doesn't like the content inside.

It's unclear what would warrant the dismissal if it's not the content.

The Texas Library Association has fought to retain that control saying the schools need to run the selection process for books not parents with a specific political agenda.

TEA recommended school districts post a list of library books on their websites.

Most districts already have policies in place for book selection, but these guidelines make it easier for community review and input.

NBCDFW reached out to the Texas Library Association for comment on the new guidelines and is awaiting comment.

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