Brenham ISD pulls 32 books from high school library after resident complaints
The district established a reconsideration committee to evaluate each title.
BRENHAM, Texas (KBTX) - The Brenham High School library pulled 32 books from circulation after two residents raised concerns about their content during an Oct. 16 board of trustees meeting.
The titles will undergo a formal review process to decide whether or not they’ll be allowed back on library shelves.
Brenham residents Brit and Eddie Colanter asked for the review during the public comment portion of last month’s meeting. The two say the books contain material that is inappropriate for high school students.
“Parents are not even aware or present when their kids are being exposed to this perverted, quote, ‘literature,’” Brit said.
During the meeting, Brit read a passage from the novel Lucky by Alice Sebold, which she says contains the “most graphic material of all the books up for reconsideration.” The full board of trustees meeting is linked here.
The 1999 memoir details Sebold’s experience of being sexually assaulted during her freshman year of college. Before she began reading, Brit remarked that she hoped ‘no kids are [in here].’
The Colanters are no longer Brenham ISD parents, but they live in the district and say they have a responsibility to intervene.
“These appalling, sexually explicit books must be removed to protect our children,” she said in the meeting.
In a press release shared Tuesday, the district said their policy is to remove books from circulation while they’re being reviewed. Several documents posted to Brenham ISD’s website say books should not be removed while under reconsideration. Their Library Policy Manual encourages readers to return and check out other materials if they find a book offensive, however, the district’s Instructional Resources policy clearly allows for the removal of materials deemed vulgar or without educational suitability.
Brit provided KBTX with the complete selection of challenged books. The list includes titles from romance and fantasy authors such as Colleen Hoover and Sarah J. Maas.
Following the formal complaint from Brit, the district established a reconsideration committee to examine the challenged titles. Their procedure is detailed below.
What Will This Review Process Look Like?
Our lead librarian, Charlotte Polk, and the high school campus librarian, Gwen Waller, in collaboration with the district’s Executive Director of Leading and Learning, Christine Johnson, have established a reconsideration committee. The committee, in accordance with our library policy, includes a school library media specialist, a teacher, a school administrator, and a member of the community. This committee will thoroughly review the concerns presented, conduct an evaluation, and inform the librarians of their decision. Per the library policy the committee is allotted fifteen school days per book to review, and has to read each book in its entirety.
The complete list of books undergoing the reconsideration process is listed in alphabetical order below.
|1||The Poet X||Elizabeth Acevedo|
|2||Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices series)||Cassandra Clare|
|3||Ready Player One||Ernest Cline|
|4||Life is Funny||E.R. Frank|
|7||All Your Perfects||Colleen Hoover|
|10||It Ends with Us||Colleen Hoover|
|11||It Starts with Us||Colleen Hoover|
|12||Maybe Not||Colleen Hoover|
|13||Maybe Now||Colleen Hoover|
|14||Maybe Someday||Colleen Hoover|
|15||November 9||Colleen Hoover|
|16||Point of Retreat||Colleen Hoover|
|19||Monday’s Not Coming||Tiffany D. Jackson|
|20||A Court of Frost and Starlight||Sarah J. Maas|
|21||A Court of Silver Flames||Sarah J. Maas|
|22||A Court of Thorns and Roses||Sarah J. Maas|
|23||A Court of Wings and Ruin||Sarah J. Maas|
|24||Empire of Storms||Sarah J. Maas|
|25||House of Earth and Blood||Sarah J. Maas|
|26||A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel: Volume 2||George R. R. Martin, Daniel Abraham|
|27||A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel: Volume 4||George R. R. Martin, Daniel Abraham|
|28||A Clash of Kings||George R. R. Martin|
|29||A Game of Thrones||George R. R. Martin|
|30||Living Dead Girl||Elizabeth Scott|
|32||The Lovely Bones||Alice Sebold|
The Brenham ISD Library Policies and Procedures Manual, as well as the Brenham ISD Library Services Censorship guidelines are listed below. To view the BISD library selection criteria, click here. To see the district’s guidelines for handling complaints, click here.
Brenham ISD Library Policies and Procedures Manual by KBTX on Scribd
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