AUSTIN (KXAN) — More people in the Eanes Independent School District are challenging books that are in schools across the district.
Taking books off the shelves some consider inappropriate has become a hot button topic, not only in Texas, but across the nation. It even caused one Central Texas librarian to lose her job.
Between March 28 and May 1 there were 129 different books that were challenged in Eanes ISD. The titles covered a range of topics like race, religion and books about the LGBQT community, including titles like the Holy Bible, “Being Jazz: My Life as a Transgender Teen” and “How to be an Antiracist”.
The district has dealt with book challenges before, but never quite like this. From 2018 to 2021 there were only six challenges. For the sake of transparency the district decided to create a public database to share information about the book challenges and review process.
“I think it is important if parents, a staff member or community member feel a book is inappropriate, I think it is the right thing to do for us to be able to look at it and make sure we are going through a formal process making sure it is an appropriate book to be in whichever library it is placed,” said Molly May, assistant superintendent of curriculum instruction and assessment for Eanes ISD.
If a parent, staff member or resident of the district feels a book needs to be reviewed, they submit it to the district. From there the person who submits a challenge has their name listed next to the title they are challenging as well as the date and status of the review. Finally the board will review the book and decide if it should be removed.
“What we in Eanes have established are three committees,” May said. “So, we have an elementary, middle and high school committee, and we are trying to read one book per month, per committee, per level, and so we are also not reading during the summer or on our holiday break, so we are looking at getting about eight books a year per each level read.”
So far, no books that have been reviewed have been removed from the shelves.
The district has a list where anyone can follow the review process and see which books are in the process of review.