School District Returns Some Potentially Inappropriate Books to Library Shelves

Library books on shelf
Library books on shelf | Image by marcoventuriniautieri/Getty Images

Fort Worth ISD is preparing to return some of the books that were pulled from school library shelves more than half a year ago after a review for sexual or violent content was completed.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, Tarrant County Citizens Defending Freedom (TCCDF) found 76 different books that it considered offensive due to sexual and violent content. More than 500 copies of the books were in circulation at Fort Worth ISD. TCCDF had emailed Fort Worth ISD’s board of trustees and the superintendent regarding the books it identified.

“Ultimately, we would like to see [Fort Worth ISD] pass a stronger book policy that protects children and removes books that are not appropriate,” TCCDF education lead Kris Kittle previously told The Texan.

School libraries were closed during the first two weeks of the 2023-2024 school year when the books were removed for review.

Fort Worth ISD officials confirmed that “the book review process was completed, and books are in the process of being returned to appropriate campuses based on the decisions made regarding age/grade level appropriateness,” according to district spokesperson Jessica Becerra, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Becerra said in a statement that the return process will be completed over the course of several weeks.

Fort Worth ISD officials originally stated that the book review process started due to a new state law that took effect last September. However, it recently claimed the book review was initiated independent of the new state law and unrelated to the book challenges brought by TCCDF, as reported by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

HB 900 prohibits schools from buying and making available to students books that are “sexually explicit, pervasively vulgar or educationally unsuitable.”

The law is currently on pause due to a ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this year.

The books that were removed included Wait What? A Comic Book Guide to Relationships, Bodies, and Growing Up by Heather Corinna and Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe, Flamer by Mike Curato.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, Dallas ISD was called out by parents last year for having allegedly obscene books available for students. Some of the potentially offending titles that were available included:

  • Being Jazz: My Life as a Transgender Teen by Jazz Jennings
  • Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  • Queer, There, and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World by Sarah Prager

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