The chairman of a Texas state House committee tasked with conducting investigations is launching a probe into books that school librarians keep on their shelves in the wake of a measure the legislature passed earlier this year to bar teaching of critical race theory in public schools.
In a letter to the Texas Education Agency and unnamed school superintendents, state Rep. Matt Krause (R) asked school leaders to identify the number of copies of hundreds of specific books they have sitting on library shelves, and how much money the districts paid to purchase those books.
Krause cited five Texas school districts that have recently removed some books from their libraries or classrooms after objections from parents and students. Krause asked the districts to provide information about books that deal with sexuality, sexually transmitted disease, AIDS and HIV and “material that might make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex.”
The specific books Krause is looking for, attached in a 16-page list first reported by the Texas Tribune, date back to 1968. Many deal with abortion, teen pregnancy, sex education or the life experience of young LGBT people. Others deal with the Black Lives Matter movement or the concepts of anti-racism.