Texas lawmaker investigates 850 race and gender books that may ‘annoy’ college students
State Representative Matt Krause, a Republican who chairs the Texas House Committee on General Investigating, sent a letter Monday informing the Texas Education Agency of the investigation and asking a number of school districts to report which books in a list of hundreds of titles owned by schools and how much money they spent to acquire those titles.
The books listed by Krause are fictional and non-fiction titles that address a wide range of topics including race and racism, sex, gender identity, reproductive rights, and Latin, black history. and Native American, according to a copy of the list obtained by the Texas Tribune.
Lawmakers gave school officials until Nov. 12 to respond to its investigation, but did not indicate what the next steps in its investigation would be.
Krause is one of many Republican candidates who challenge Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to seek re-election in the March party primary. CNN has reached out to Rep Krause for comment.
“This is a new attempt by Republicans to censor the votes of people of color after 10 months of seizures such as the advancement of anti-election legislation, discriminatory redistribution cards and censorship of this that educators teach in school, ”Neave said in a statement.
The state’s legislative caucuses for Blacks, Mexicans, LGBTs and Women’s Health condemned the investigation, saying it was an attack on the freedom to teach educators and schools.
The survey is a “fairly extensive” task for schools
Krause’s letter says it was sent to a “selected” group of state superintendents, but does not specify how many or which.
Nearly a dozen school districts, including some of the state’s largest, told CNN on Thursday that they received Krause’s letter earlier this week.
Spokesmen for the Katy School District and another district Krause mentioned confirmed officials had received the letter and reviewed it.
Another neighborhood in Keller, a city in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, received Krause’s request the same week school administrators discovered and removed an illustrated book containing “inappropriate images.” The book, “Gender Queer, A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe, is one of hundreds of books listed by Krause.
“Illustrations like this should never be available in the school environment. Ensuring that our teaching materials are suitable for students is a priority for Keller ISD. We are changing the process we use to review and approve books and associated material to avoid future incidents, ”the district said in a statement shared with CNN.
“An obvious attack on diversity”
“This is a clear attack on diversity and an attempt to score political points at the expense of our children’s education,” Moline said. “What will Rep Krause come up with next?” Burning books that he and a handful of parents find objectionable? “
“Unfortunately, Krause follows the trend of elected officials to arm censorship and antagonize educators and librarians for political gain. It goes without saying that this discriminatory witch hunt must be abandoned,” Friedman said in a statement.
“Every child deserves to feel empowered to know who they are and to know their story. So often adults think that children and young people are not ready to do this work or hear about it, but reality and truth is they ‘are more than ready because they see the world as it is and so much more clearly, ”Jewell said.
CNN’s Jennifer Henderson and Raja Razek contributed to this report.