A Texas superintendent instructed librarians to remove books on sexuality, transgender people
( Hill )
A Texas superintendent in January told librarians to pull books about sexual orientation and gender identity from school library shelves, claiming they did not align with the community’s majority conservative beliefs and would expose young students to inappropriate ideas and language, according to an NBC News, ProPublica and Texas Tribune investigation published Wednesday.
Jeremy Glenn, the superintendent of the Granbury Independent School District in North Texas, reportedly told a group of librarians on Jan. 10 that books about sexuality and transgender people should be removed from school libraries, though he added that he was not singling out LGBTQ+ titles.
“I don’t want a kid picking up a book, whether it’s about homosexuality or heterosexuality, and reading about how to hook up sexually in our libraries,” Glenn said, according to a recording of his meeting with librarians that was obtained by NBC News, ProPublica and the Texas Tribune.
Months earlier, Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott (R) in a letter addressed to the state’s school board demanded books he described as “pornographic” be removed from school libraries, arguing that children should be shielded from “obscene content in schools.”
He also called for criminal investigations into school employees who make such content available to students.
In October, Texas Rep. Matt Krause, also a Republican, notified the Texas Education Agency that he would be launching “an inquiry into Texas school district content.”
Krause questioned the inclusion of 850 books about race and sexuality in public school libraries and asked the agency and several school districts to identify additional titles about human sexuality, HIV and AIDS and other topics that “might make students feel discomfort.”
During his January meeting with librarians, Glenn said he was concerned about the inclusion of books with LGBTQ+ themes, even if they do not describe sex.
“And I’m going to take it a step further with you,” he said, according to NBC News, ProPublica and the Texas Tribune investigation. “There are two genders. There’s male, and there’s female. And I acknowledge that there are men that think they’re women. And there are women that think they’re men. And again, I don’t have any issues with what people want to believe, but there’s no place for it in our libraries.”
Glenn was later asked whether titles on racism were acceptable, to which he replied that books on different cultures “are great.”
“Specifically, what we’re getting at, let’s call it what it is, and I’m cutting to the chase on a lot of this,” he said. “It’s the transgender, LGBTQ and the sex — sexuality — in books. That’s what the governor has said that he will prosecute people for, and that’s what we’re pulling out.”
Changing America has reached out for comment.
Meetings like Glenn’s are happening at schools across the country – and in nearly every state legislature – as a conservative-led charge to protect children from “mature” topics gains momentum.
In Florida, lawmakers earlier this month sent the controversial Parental Rights in Education bill – known to its critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill – to the governor’s desk, where it is expected to be signed into law. Public school teachers under the bill would not be permitted to engage in any instruction related to sexual orientation or gender identity.
A similar bill, in Indiana, would bar educators from discussing in any context “sexual orientation,” “transgenderism,” or “gender identity” without parental consent.
In Oklahoma, the sponsor of a bill seeking to prohibit school districts and libraries from making books about sexual orientation or gender identity available to students said he believed public schools were using their resources to “indoctrinate” students.
In a recent report by the nonprofit Movement Advancement Project, it was found that bills aiming to restrict what public schools may teach their students were considered in at least 42 state legislatures last year, affecting more than 59 million children nationwide.