Texas School District Decides To Just Ban All Books Flagged For Review… Including The Bible
from the this-should-go-well dept
If you’re not familiar with the story and history behind the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, then go read up on it, because it’s a great story. For you lazy bums out there, I’ll summarize it thusly. A 24-year old in Oregon got sick of religious types in Kansas trying to inject the teaching of intelligent design in public education institutions under the guise of “teaching the debate” or “equal time” with, well, actual science. As a result, he created a spoof religion centering on a monster made of pasta that uses his noodley appendages to do all kinds of things in our world, including changing carbon dating results so as to hide the actual age of the world and universe. He then argued for “equal time” for this religion in Kansas, stating that if it was good enough for Christians, it was good enough for “Pastafarians”.
Why do I bring this up? Well, because it’s always interesting to see those who would inject their own personal beliefs into public institutions of learning have their arguments turned right around on them in ways that were unforeseen. As an example of this, we go to a school district in Dallas-Fort Worth, which just opened its doors after unsuccessfully agreeing on which books should be banned, following challenges from parents and residents on many, many titles. Of course, the Texas Education Agency was involved as well, which was also seeking to ban books based on certain content. Not confident in its ability to review those challenges in a way that would actually quell the uproar from citizens and the government mostly looking to ban books that talked about gender, sexuality, or race, the district decided to just pull all flagged books from school shelves indefinitely. Books that included, well…
Administrators at Dallas-Fort Worth’s Keller ISD announced Tuesday that the district will pull all books challenged within its system—a sweeping action that includes the removal of all variations of the Bible and a graphic novel depicting the life of Anne Frank. The move is a seemingly abrupt course reversal for the district, which began a high-profile and months-long review of challenged works in its schools following a Texas Education Agency investigation into alleged sexual explicit materials found in its curriculum.
The Dallas Morning News’ Taila Richman reports that an email sent Tuesday to school principals by Jennifer Price, curriculum director of Keller ISD, relayed a new directive that urged staff to pull all titles flagged for review by day’s end regardless of past recommendations made during the review process.
This is occurring just as children are set to go back to school in the district, ostensibly where they will enter libraries with far fewer books on the shelves than they remember. And no bibles, either. Which makes much more sense than banning the Anne Frank graphic novel. Was someone upset that Nazis existed and were depicted in a children’s book?
The bible, in most of its iterations, has plenty to say about violence, sexuality, and all other matters of personal morality. Much like many of the other books the community and government flagged for removal. But somehow I doubt that those in favor of pulling books on gender as a subject matter also wanted the Bible pulled for the same reason. Call me crazy, but I think I’m on fairly solid ground here.
And, so, in the interest of banning books they don’t like, it sure seems like a fair number of the religious have gotten their own sacred text banned. And, to be clear: that sucks! It is a terrible thing that students cannot study a religious text while in school, assuming that studying is secular in nature.
But it also sucks that they can’t study gender issues, LGBTQ+ matters, and the like. So, maybe we just stop banning books now?