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Fed up students slam school district's ban on books about inequality: 'Stop the censorship'

Pupils Granbury, Texas, organized a public meeting to criticize the book ban, a sharp condemnation of "Krause's List."

Fed up students slam school district's ban on books about inequality: 'Stop the censorship'
Image Source: cjtackett / Twitter

Firing back at recently proposed bans on books about inequality, a group of high school students in Granbury, Texas, organized a public meeting to share their criticisms of the prohibition. During the meeting, several pupils highlighted why their school district's efforts to review and potentially ban hundreds of books from school libraries is problematic. Over the last year, school officials and parents have launched a crusade against texts focused on social inequality, depriving young people of their right to accurate knowledge regarding history and culture. Students are finally fighting back by demanding access to the books on proposed ban lists, MSNBC reports.


Earlier this week, the school board Granbury ISD voted seven to zero to change district policy allowing books to be removed prior to a review. Soon after, individuals arrived at the high school with a hand cart and carried away multiple boxes of books tagged with "Krause's List." This is a list of 850 developed by Texas lawmaker Matt Krause, a Republican determined to remove any material that "might make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex." Since compiling the list, he has asked schools statewide to tell him whether they currently hold any of the listed texts, setting off alarms amongst the books' authors and the state teachers association.


Therefore, students took to the podium to register their protest against the removal of books they believe they should be allowed to access without interference from lawmakers. In videos uploaded to Twitter by Christopher Tackett, a former school board trustee, several pupils condemn the ban. One student affirms in a clip, "No government—and public school is an extension of government—has ever banned books and banned information from its public and been remembered in history as the good guys."


"It’s plain and simple: If you don’t like it, put the book down," another pupil states. "No one is forcing you to read it. Wake up to the reality that we are all different and we should all embrace each other with love—not blatant hate." Another student highlights how the books are not just about a distant, far-off history. Indeed, they contain important learnings and insights about her own personal identity and community. She criticizes officials for targeting books important to her cultural experience, which has been shaped by "colonialism and the survival of [her] people."


Others note how education should be "free from bias." One student asserts, "We want to learn about things that may not be the prettiest or the most comfortable, but we as students are entitled to complete knowledge—not information that has been disseminated." The debate over school lesson plans has been framed as a political one, fought between liberals and conservatives. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the fight is between conservatives and the troublesome history of the United States that they wish to ignore and whitewash. The students have evidently chosen the side they want to fight for: history.


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