“TX State Bd. of Ed. Approves School Library Rules To Ban Inappropriate Books”

From Donna Garner

Excerpts from this Dallas Morning News article dated 12.14.23 and written by Talia Richman:


Texas school libraries must have policies to prohibit the possession or purchase of books determined to be “sexually explicit.”

The State Board of Education on Wednesday
signed off on guidelines for school library rules, giving their approval ahead of a looming Jan. 1 deadline. 

[The Texas State Board of Education adopted the new standards by a vote of 13 to 1; Democrat Aicha Davis of Dallas was the lone opponent.]

The move comes after years of acrimony over what books belong on campuses,
with conservative politicians and parents calling for a crackdown on titles they view as inappropriate.

“It was a work of deep value and importance to bring the library standards to fruition. In Texas, parents have been identifying this issue to schools without the necessary support of law,” said SBOE member Audrey Young, a Trinity Republican who chairs the committee on instruction.

Rep. Jared Patterson, R-Frisco, celebrated the approval of standards to bring schools into compliance with a law he championed this year.

“To be very clear, the work before you is critically important,” he said in a letter to state board members. “The materials I personally fought are outrageous and so explicit in nature that news programs could not even show the images on screen or read the passages over the radio due to FCC standards.”

Many of the books that landed in the crosshairs
 involved LGBTQ storylines or centered diverse characters. A PEN America report found Texas had removed more books from school libraries than in any other state. Roughly 800 books — many delving into themes of race, sexuality and gender — were pulled between July 2021 and June 2022.

The READER Act, sponsored by Patterson, requires vendors that sell books to school libraries issue “ratings” for titles if they contain sexual content. The bill prohibits a vendor from selling library books that are rated sexually explicit…

The State Board of Education gave its blessing to the proposed
 standards for school libraries to follow. 

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission must still adopt it, but they won’t be changing the document, SBOE members said.

Mary Elizabeth Castle, with the conservative group Texas Values, said the guidelines must align closely with Patterson’s law.

“Having guidance from you – from the State Board of Education – will help make sure that the law is correctly applied and that we can efficiently address this issue of inappropriate books in the school library,” she said.

Each of Texas’ more than 1,000 districts must approve a policy that lays out the process by which school libraries acquire materials.

The policy must include a process to determine if students can access material rated as “sexually relevant,” according to the guidelines. 

It also must include a way for parents to access the library catalog…




Excerpts from this 12.13.23 article, Texas Eagle Forum, Cindi Castilla, President: https://mailchi.mp/21a1d6f64fd3/calltoactionstopsexualizingourkids?e=87963ff101


PART 1 from Christin Bentley, RPT Chair, Stop Sexualizing Texas Kids Subcommittee

There isn’t anything more important than protecting our children.  
I will never accept or recommend anything that compromises them.  

Our RPT subcommittee has been working diligently with the State Board of Education on these standards. We appreciate their eagerness to collaborate with us as both a committee and individually to create standards that are prescriptive to HB900, The READER Act.

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC), in collaboration with the State Board of Education (SBOE), has been tasked with creating the first ever mandated collection and development standards for Texas public school libraries, and they are set to vote on these standards at their meeting on Wednesday, December 13.

Click here to read the proposed standards.



The Collection and Development Standards for Texas School Libraries will include that a public school’s library collection and development policy MUST:

RECOGNIZE that parents are the primary decision makers regarding their student’s access to library material;

PROHIBIT the possession, acquisition, and purchase of harmful material, as defined by Penal Code, 43.24, library material rated sexually explicit material by the selling library material vendor under Education Code, 35.002, or library material that is pervasively vulgar or educationally unsuitable as referenced in Pico v. Board of Education, 457 U.S., 853 (1982);

RECOGNIZE that obscene content is not protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution;

APPLY to all library materials available for use or display, including material contained in school libraries, classroom libraries, and online catalogs;

ENSURE schools provide library catalog transparency, including, but not limited to, online catalogs that are publicly available; and information about titles and how and where material can be accessed;

RECOMMEND schools communicate effectively with parents regarding collection development, including, but not limited to, access to district/ campus policies relating to school libraries; consistent access to library resources; and opportunities for students, parents, educators and community members to provide feedback on library materials and services; and

PROHIBIT the removal of material based solely on the ideas contained in the material or the personal background of the author of the material or characters in the material.


PART 2:  Information and Action from Grassroots America

On Wed. Dec. 13,
the SBOE will also hear the first reading of the “Instructional Materials Suitability Rubric” draft, which is the rubric against which all new curricula will be measured. 

This is a crucial litmus test which will determine if new curriculum topics uphold our Texas values and comply with the many relevant Texas laws, including our hard-won CRT ban. 

Dr. Ellis [chair of Texas SBOE] has asked the Stop Sexualizing Texas Kids Subcommittee and Chair Bentley to work with them on the Suitability Rubric by providing feedback and recommendations. 

He has told us that the Wednesday document is a "base document" or starting point. We expect many conservatives will be working to perfect the baseline document.  Dr. Ellis expects a final draft will be voted on in January