Why are we sexualizing our precious children?” a Katy parent said at a November school board meeting after she suggested that books about LGBTQ relationships are causing children to improperly question their gender identities and sexual orientations. “Why are our libraries filled with pornography?”
Another parent in Katy, a Houston suburb, asked the district to remove a children’s biography of Michelle Obama, arguing that it promotes “reverse racism” against white people, according to the records obtained by NBC News. A parent in the Dallas suburb of Prosper wanted the school district to ban a children’s picture book about the life of Black Olympian Wilma Rudolph, because it mentions racism that Rudolph faced growing up in Tennessee in the 1940s. In the affluent Eanes Independent School District in Austin, a parent proposed replacing four books about racism, including “How to Be an Antiracist,” by Ibram X. Kendi, with copies of the Bible.
Similar debates are roiling communities across the country, fueled by parents, activists and Republican politicians who have mobilized against school programs and classroom lessons focused on LGBTQ issues and the legacy of racism in America. Last fall, some national groups involved in that effort — including No Left Turn in Education and Moms for Liberty — began circulating lists of school library books that they said were “indoctrinating kids to a dangerous ideology.”