WASHINGTON (TND) — A school district in Texas is pulling over 40 books from its libraries and classrooms that had previously been challenged by parents, including the Bible and an illustrated version of Anne Frank’s diary.
The move follows a newly adopted school board policy regarding how the district will determine the appropriateness of instructional materials found in its schools going forward.
"By the end of today, I need all books pulled from the library and classrooms," Jennifer Price, the Keller Independent School District's (KISD) curriculum director, wrote in an email to principals Tuesday morning referring to a list of over 40 challenged books, according to The Dallas Morning News.
"More information will be sent regarding action for these books," the email reportedly continued. "Once this has been completed, please email me a confirmation. We need to ensure this action is taken by the end of today."
In May, following a request from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott urging it to reexamine policies around determining the appropriateness of instructional materials in schools, the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) issued a policy alert to Texas school boards addressing how they should select and review materials.
On August 8, the KISD Board of Trustees updated their policies related to the acquisition and review of instructional materials. As a result, KISD requested that campus staff and librarians review books which have been challenged over the last year to determine if they meet the requirements of the new policy, The National Desk (TND) was told by a KISD spokesperson.
Many of the books challenged relate to sexually explicit content, often found in many LGBT-themed books, but the Bible and a "graphic adaptation" of Anne Frank's diary were also among the litany of books challenged by district parents over the last year.
"Books that meet the new guidelines will be returned to the libraries as soon as it is confirmed they comply with the new policy," a KISD spokesperson told TND.
The Texas Education Agency (TEA), the state agency that oversees primary and secondary public education in Texas, opened an investigation into KISD last year over concerns that some school library books featured sexual content, according to The Texas Tribune.
In April, TEA outlined a model policy for how school districts should go about removing and preventing "obscene content" from entering Texas public schools, leading to book challenge committees made up of parents and staff in the district that have been meeting behind closed doors to review the appropriateness of titles, according to The New York Post.