At least 51 reconsideration requests for 12 unique book titles have been filed this school year in Cy-Fair ISD, including the six books below. SOURCES: CY-FAIR ISD, GOOD READS/COMMUNITY IMPACT
KEY Campus review in progress Retained in collection Removed from collection Copy is lost and will not be replaced
BOOK ACCESS IN CFISD Students can access reading collections based on grade level.
Themes: Black experiences, queer experiences, family dynamics 2 campuses 1 campus
Themes: transgender/ nonbinary experiences, family dynamics
Themes: sexuality, self-acceptance, bullying 6 campuses 1 campus
“ALL BOYS AREN’T BLUE”
3 campuses 6 campuses 1 campus
BY GEORGE M. JOHNSON
BY SUSAN KUKLIN
BY MIKE CURATO
All students have access. Grades 7-12 have access; parents of students in grades 5-6 may opt in. Parents of students in grades 8-12 may opt in.
Themes: race, equality, celebration of differences
Themes: gender, death, family dynamics 2 campuses
Themes: race, sex, appearances 6 campuses
“THE BLUEST EYE”
1 campus 1 campus
BY IBRAM X. KENDI
BY TONI MORRISON
BY ALISON BECHDEL
SOURCE: CY-FAIR ISD/COMMUNITY IMPACT
District policies All library books in CFISD are catego- rized into three collections—juvenile, young adult and adult. By default, all students have access to the juvenile collection, and students in grades 7-12 have access to the young adult col- lection. Parents may have the option to grant their children access to a higher-level reading collection. According to district data, parents have opted to give 3,248 students access to higher-level collections, and 65 students had been opted out of
library access altogether as of Feb. 3. While educators can assist students in the book selection process, stu- dents and parents have the final say on whether books are appropriate for them, district policy states. Parents can see what books their children have access to through the online library catalog. “It’s been real popular lately to talk about parents’ rights, but a lot of times when parents are talking about parents’ rights, they’re only talking about their rights. They’re not
talking about other people’s rights,” Superintendent Mark Henry said at a Nov. 10 board work session. “And I think we’ve set up a system where all parents have a right to help dictate what their children can read.” Parents can also challenge individ- ual titles at any campus. A commit- tee consisting of at least a campus or district administrator, librarian, instructional staff member and Cam- pus Performance Objective Commit- tee parent must read each challenged book and determine within 30 days whether it meets policy. Of the 12 titles challenged this school year, many were in this review process as of press time. Only one was removed from collections at two high school campuses: “Fun Home,” by Alison Bechdel. The 2006 illustrated memoir addresses themes of sexual orienta- tion, family relationships and suicide. Additionally, Community Impact reported in mid-2022 that the district had removed nine books that were brought to its attention by other dis- tricts or included in a list of 850 books state Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, said in an October 2021 letter could cause students to feel “psychological distress” because of their race or sex. Book challenges CFISD parent Tana Lam spoke about the reconsideration committee process at the Jan. 12 board meeting, saying the time-consuming task adds stress to district educators. She said five people submitted a “crazy amount” of formal book challenges in the prior weeks—28 of which were by Trustee Lucas Scan- lon’s wife, Bethany.
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claim they believe CFISD is providing obscene reading materials. However, district policy states libraries cannot offer “obscene” or “harmful” material as defined by the Texas Penal Code. “A lot of folks are concerned. They’ve become aware that there’s books in the library that have content that they find objectionable and don’t want their kids exposed to,” state Rep. Tom Oliverson, R-Cypress, said. “A lot of it is what I would label as hypersexual or border- line pornographic or maybe just out- right pornographic. And the question is: How do we deal with that?” Oliverson and other lawmakers are pushing for library content regulation with several bills already filed in the 88th Texas Legislature. Since 2019-20, CFISD parents have formally challenged 18 unique titles across 57 requests—51 of which were filed in 2022-23. District policy states library materials should be varied in difficulty levels, have diverse appeal and showcase different viewpoints. Education policy experts said while it is important for educators and parents to consider age-appropriateness, they believe removing books so no student has access to them is not beneficial. “I think the way that you avoid raising a myopic, small-minded gen- eration of kids is by giving them the space to learn about the world, learn about different ways of being, differ- ent ways of thinking and to come to their own conclusions,” said Blake Heller, assistant professor in the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston.
State lawmakers have filed several bills this session related to parental rights and other forms of regulating public school library materials. LEGISLATIVE EFFORTS
SOURCE: TEXAS LEGISLATURE/COMMUNITY IMPACT
HOUSE BILL 338 Rep. Tom Oliverson, R-Cypress Would require book publishers to post content ratings on the cover of books sold to public schools.
HOUSE BILL 976 Rep. Jared Patterson, R-Frisco Would permit the prosecution of school administrators who provide sexual content to minors. HOUSE BILL 1404 Rep. Matt Shaheen, R-Plano Would ban book sellers who sell obscene material from selling to Texas schools. SENATE BILL 419 Sen. Angela Paxton, R-McKinney Would require school districts to give parents access to library catalogs.
HOUSE BILL 917 Rep. Harold V. Dutton Jr.,D-Houston Would prohibit the removal of any library books from district library catalogs. HOUSE BILL 1658 Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake Would give parents access to records related to library materials their child has checked out.
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