What School District Am I In Texas – My nightmare started in mid-September when Jonathan Friedman, director of free expression and education at PEN America, emailed me a link. I wasn’t surprised to hear from Jon. He also arrived in the fall, when the Leander Independent School District in central Texas “stopped” using several books in its middle school reading program, including my 2015 novel.
, when the city officially canceled the book in August. We’ve been in contact about banned books since then, so I imagine if the subject line of his email said it all: “Another delete one
What School District Am I In Texas
But it changes when I open the link in the email. From the September 15th school board meeting at Lake Travis ISD in West Austin, I spent about two minutes watching the video. In the clip, the blonde walks onto the stage in a bright red swimsuit. Later, I learned that her name was Kara Bell, and that she was good at hosting viral videos that put her in the spotlight of conservative media. Right now, though, all I can think about is that she’s reading
Los Fresnos Consolidated Independent School District
Bell makes her class’s drama teacher proud, and she can act out every word. She reads, “A Mexican is a Mexican is a Mexican,” then flips through other provocative sentences, pulled out of context, to the last line: “Take her out, we boys thought, and then: put your hand on tits; put it on her coin case; put it in her hole.”
She collected a whole chapter of sentences, but I still recognized the message immediately. Writing a story is painful, and it’s one of the many times when I’ve written a novel that I’ve had to describe a danger I wish the world didn’t exist. Taught from the upper-class perspective of an all-white high school, parts of the novel Bell draws from captures the grim imagination and dehumanizing attitudes surrounding my protagonist, the only Mexican-American in the 1930s New London school. . ,Texas. I represent these perspectives in the book so that I can reveal the results. Their toxic effects; I disagree with them.
However, there was no time to think about this because Bell did not. She defines the term “corn pit” — she’s shocked to learn it doesn’t just refer to beanbag games in her yard — and then scoffs at a middle school that teaches anal sex. (Note: My book does not describe anal sex.)
Sure, Bell’s microphone interrupted the sentence, but the damage was done. The video was distributed first in the US and then internationally. Shop from TMZ to
Dfw School District Rankings: Best Schools In North Texas
Makes the event laugh by referring to Bell as “Karen,” the latest, but some overlook the fact that Bell’s performance, however, was a success: The day after her stunt, Lake Travis ISD has removed all printed copies.
From his middle school library. The district said it would review the books, but the abrupt decision violated district policy that requires books to remain on shelves during the review process. In conservative media, the video was played very differently, with Bell being positioned as a brave mother against “filth” in her community’s school.
As for my novel and what it’s really about – well, that’s been drowned out. in East Texas,
The 1937 New London School bombing — a natural gas leak that killed some 295 students and school staff — was the backdrop to a love story between an African-American boy and a Mexican-American girl who had just moved to the community. San Antonio. At the center of the deadliest school disaster in American history, when signs like “No Innocents, Mexicans, or Dogs” can be found on the doors of Texas facilities, the novel is full of challenging tragedy, struggle and suffering.
Socorro Independent School District / Homepage
But Bell’s choice of her dramatic reading feels particularly convincing. Her hate speech was closely related to the views captured in the text she read in school board comments. The parallels are deeply ironic: An angry white Texan succeeded in getting a novel about the Mexican-American dropout experience by reading a twisted 1937 text about a group of white Texans Come do that and vent their feelings about the Mexican-American presence in their schools. Well.
The virality of the Bell stunt sparked a wave of hatred against me and others around me: vile phone messages calling me a ‘depraved s-‘, emails just syndication, social media comments saying I’m ‘literate. Satan’ ‘, and advised me to hang myself. I got a letter in the mail telling me I was “no better than a liar or a liar” and continued, “I think you want someone to take you out.” The day I started getting hate mail in college was the last one straw. I then asked a media-savvy friend to help me respond to Bell’s speech with a funny video — a response I hope will shed light on the absurdity of these attacks and the importance of recognizing the weirdness they seek attention.
My videos were wildly popular (45,000 views!), but the balance of humor with context and contrast was no match for the clickbait of “Mom lost anal in school board meeting book” (as described by TMZ). Bell’s show has been viewed millions of times, and extreme behavior like hers risks grabbing the next media megaphone. My book is now challenged in at least seven cities in Texas — not just Leander and Lake Travis, but Bastrop, Birdville, Keller, Pond and cobblestone. While some challenges remain, some things are set and there will be consequences. At Leander, students are now allowed to borrow my books from the school library, but banned from the classroom library and school book club. In Lake Travis ISD, all copies have been removed from library shelves. Just last week, Keller ISD north of Fort Worth restricted access
In all high school libraries, refer to “Images of Violence and Difficulty.” Students within the school district must request books from the library and show proof of parental consent.
San Antonio School District Map
Tells more about our cultural moment than their review of my book published six years ago. Before 2021,
Never been challenged, let alone banned. it was awarded and named book of the year
. The books haven’t changed; the climate has, conservative offenses on education and public health, and politicians eager to line up to cash in on Republicans who are doing their best to make the issue win (I’m looking at you, on behalf of Matt Krause and the governor. Greg Abbott). Challenges to textbooks are taking place not only in Texas, but also in Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Utah and Virginia.
Already challenged or removed from dozens of libraries, things are heating up further with a new wave of attacks on teens’ access to mental health and LGBTQ resources.
Texas School District Disregards Governor’s Order Of In Person Classes
Parents like Bell may say they care about pornography, but many focus almost exclusively on books written by or about LGBTQ, non-white, or other non-dominant figures such as immigrants, Muslims, or homeless children. Books dealing with hot-button issues like sexual assault, gender identity or police brutality are especially vulnerable. Disputes are attached to everything in the note
, a novel about police brutality by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, which includes Jerry Craft’s Soft, Intermediate Books
, the story of an African-American student who found challenges enrolling in a predominantly white school. Even venerable classics like Toni Morrison
— the school’s advanced literature course — was swept away by conservatives. The scope of the attack was shocking, as demonstrated by the Pflugerville library filming its teenage section after removing all potentially offensive books. Only a few titles remain.
Map Of School District Book Bans In Houston, Texas
As a former high school English teacher in Texas, I can attest that most books with pornography are white, straight, middle class, but that doesn’t seem to bother the naysayers. Rather than focus on what their children are actually reading, these parents often take cues from social media pages and conservation groups that list targeted books and offer discussion points, as well as screenshots of school library items. Parental anger may be real, but their actions create an even more hostile environment for an already disadvantaged child.
Through it all, I am reminded of the students I taught at César E. Chavez High School in Southeast Houston from 2004 to 2007. Most of my Latino classmates told me during our many trips to the library together. Books they want to read but can’t find on the shelf. Since then, I’ve written every one of my novels, hoping to fill in the blanks for teenagers. young