The Carroll Independent School District, which envelopes Southlake, began a program where books in classrooms would be assessed and removed if deemed inappropriate by the school staff. Books deemed not suitable for a classroom setting are no longer allowed to be read by students. The suitability of the books is being assessed based on their content as it relates to the new Texas law passed by the Legislature aimed to eliminated Critical Race Theory in schools.
Books such as “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas or many books by Toni Morrison have been removed for “one-sided viewpoints.” Critical Race Theory teaches social and historical events with the premise that some races are inherently oppressive, Encyclopedia Britannica states.
NBC reported that Carroll ISD administrators decided to remove books that “present singular, dominant narratives” in such a way that it “may be considered offensive.” This action comes after the legislature passed a law that limits CRT teaching. House Bill 3979 seeks to discontinue any teaching that “one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex,” or that an individual is “inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive” based on their race or sex.
The purpose of the removal of content is to stop students from feeling “discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress” due to their race.
There was a considerable uproar in the past year to stop schools from teaching CRT. However, one teacher believes the censoring of media might have gone too far.
A Southlake high school teacher told NBC, “One of the questions we’re supposed to ask is ‘Does the writer have a neutral stance on the topic?’” they stated. “Well, if you are Toni Morrison, how can you have a neutral stance toward racism? Now history is being depicted through this rose-colored lens, and all of this is creating a chilling effect that’s going to hurt our students.”
While presenting the bill on the House Floor, Representative Steve Toth, the author of the bill, said “We’re simply asking that teachers teach from a diverse perspective without proselytizing. […] I think it’s imperative that teachers have the ability to speak freely without the fear of reprisal.”