Texas school district pulls 41 books including Bible and ‘Diary of Anne Frank’ adaptation

A Texas school district has pulled nearly 50 books, including the Bible and an adaptation of “The Diary of Anne Frank” from its library shelves.

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The Keller Independent School District pulled any book that was challenged during last year’s school year, according to The Dallas Morning News. Books that were challenged then found to be acceptable were still pulled as the school districts readied for the first day of school.

Among the books pulled were Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye,” Ashley Hope Pérez’s “Out of Darkness,” and “Gender Queer: A Memoir,” by Maia Kobabe.

The 41 books were removed from the library and, according to officials, will be considered for a possible return to the school, The Texas Tribune reported.

According to The News, Jennifer Price, the district’s curriculum director, emailed principals a set of instructions Tuesday morning, along with a spreadsheet of every challenged title.

“By the end of today, I need all books pulled from the library and classrooms,” she wrote. “More information will be sent regarding action for these books. … Once this has been completed, please email me a confirmation. We need to ensure this action is taken by the end of today.”

A second email went out later Tuesday to principals and librarians in the district clarifying the next steps in reviewing the books that had been removed.

“Books that meet the new guidelines will be returned to the libraries as soon as it is confirmed they comply with the new policy,” associate superintendent John Allison wrote. “We hope to be able to expedite the process and return eligible books into circulation as soon as possible.”

Parents, employees and district residents are allowed to file challenges to books and instructional materials in any district school. A committee then considers whether the materials are educationally suitable and makes a decision on whether the material will remain in schools, the district website says.

The district recently adopted new standards for how books and other instructional materials are chosen for schools, including putting books up for 30 days of public review before they are purchased by libraries. The new policy also calls for removing challenged materials from shelves while they are being reviewed.

After the Book Challenge Committee met in private, The Bible and the Anne Frank diary adaptation were voted back into the libraries in the district. There was an objection by at least one committee member about the Bible saying it should be kept out of the school because of its “sexual content, violence including rape, murder, human sacrifice, misogyny, homophobia, discrimination, and other inappropriate content,” The News reported.

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