Houston Matters

Banned Books Week and Creationism in Texas Schools

We have a complex relationship, at times, with what books we use, and how we use them, in public education here in Texas.  We have, at times, been at the center of controversy over the language and information presented in Texas classroom textbooks, most notably in the form of occasional challenges to the teaching of […]

We have a complex relationship, at times, with what books we use, and how we use them, in public education here in Texas.  We have, at times, been at the center of controversy over the language and information presented in Texas classroom textbooks, most notably in the form of occasional challenges to the teaching of evolution in science books. Back in 2009, new standards were created to include critical statements about commonly accepted science, like evolution and the origin of the universe.

But it’s not just what’s included in books – it’s also, sometimes, books themselves. In some Texas public schools, we occasionally find works of classic literature like The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, or To Kill A Mockingbird being challenged – or outright banned. Last week was Banned Books Week, a week each year when groups like the American Library Association celebrate the freedom to read, by calling attention to those literary works most often challenged or banned in public schools and libraries.

We’ll discuss current efforts to affect what Texas public school students are allowed to – and required to – read in their classrooms and libraries.

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