Politics

Texas legislature announces probe into public school library books on sexuality and race

Texas state Rep. Matt Krause, chair of the Texas House Committee on General Investigating, announced Wednesday that he’s initiating a probe into schools’ library books, according to a letter sent to the state’s education agency and other superintendents.

The probe focuses on books that discuss race, sexuality or “make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex,” Krause wrote in the letter. Earlier on in the year, Texas passed legislation prohibiting the teaching of critical race theory in schools. Krause included a 16-page list of roughly 850 books, many dealing with topics such as racism, abortion and homosexuality, the Texas Tribune first reported.

Schools will have to disclose which books on the list they have, how many copies of each book they have and how much was spent on these books. Schools must respond by 12th November 2021, although the letter does not state any consequences for not doing so.

In a statement, the Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA) called the letter a ‘political overreach’ and a ‘witch hunt’. “This is an obvious attack on diversity and an attempt to score political points at the expense of our children’s education,” TSTA President Ovidia Molina said. “What will Rep. Krause propose next? Burning books he and a handful of parents find objectionable?”

A spokesperson for Austin Independent School District confirmed to Axios that they had received a copy of Krause’s letter, adding: “Our legal team is reviewing and working on a response.” A spokesperson for Lake Travis Independent School District said the “superintendent and general counsel are reviewing the inquiry and discussing next steps.”

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: YAHOO NEWS

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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