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Monday, October 3, 2022
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Governor Asks for Removal of “Pornographic” Books from Schools

Education

Books in a school library. | Image by jovan_epn

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Governor Greg Abbott requested the removal of books and other content with “pornographic images and substance” from schools in a Monday letter addressed to Dan Troxell, executive of the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB).     

In his letter, Abbott writes about “a growing number of parents who are becoming increasingly alarmed by the books and other “extremely inappropriate” content found in the public school education system.”

He continues by writing that TASB members have an “obligation to determine the extent to which such materials exist” and “remove any such content” from Texas schools.  

A spokesperson for the TASB responded the following day in an email to NPR, stating that Abbott’s directive would be better if placed in the hands of another entity, such as the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

The spokesperson writes the group was “confused” about why it had been the recipient of Abbot’s directive since it “has no regulatory authority over school districts and does not set the standards for instructional materials, including library books.”    

Republican state lawmaker Jeff Cason from Bedford, who himself has called on the Texas Attorney General to investigate “sexually explicit material in public schools,” also questioned Abbott’s decision to address his directive to the TASB. 

Cason took to Twitter to state that asking the TASB to remove these books was “not really going to accomplish much, but it does look good on Twitter.”    

Governor Abbott did not provide any specific examples of inappropriate content in his letter, however, it does appear to be an endorsement of a similar request made in an October 25th letter by Matt Krause, a Fort Worth Republican state lawmaker.

Krause addressed his letter to the TEA’s deputy commissioner of school programs and school superintendents and wrote that he was “initiating an inquiry into Texas school district content.”

Krause, chair of the House General Investigating Committee and a candidate for state Attorney General provided a list of about 850 book titles that he believes need to be reviewed for inappropriate content.   

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