Nov 16, 2022 - News

More North Texas schools ban books

Illustration of a book as the bottom of a padlock.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Two North Texas school districts recently voted to remove books from school libraries and classrooms.

Why it matters: This is further evidence that school districts have become the frontlines of the cultural divide in this country.

Driving the news: Keller ISD's board voted to remove all books that describe or depict any form of "gender fluidity." The meeting Monday night included more than 70 speakers and two hours of discussion.

Meanwhile: Frisco ISD released a list of books that have either been banned from school libraries or restricted to specific grades. The list includes "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman and the "Game of Thrones" books.

  • "The Hobbit" will be restricted to students in sixth grade and above.

The other side: Gaiman tweeted that the decision is "astonishing."

Of note: Frisco's board also voted to adopt a policy requiring students to use bathrooms and changing rooms according to the gender they were assigned at birth. Board members said the policy is modeled on Grapevine-Colleyville's recently adopted stance.

Between the lines: Keller is one of the North Texas school boards with a majority of members backed by Patriot Mobile Action, the political arm of a North Texas-based cell phone service reseller that markets itself as "America's only Christian conservative wireless provider."

  • Earlier this year, the district voted to temporarily remove all books that have been challenged within the last year from school library shelves, including all versions of the Bible and an adaption of Anne Frank's diary.

Zoom out: A report earlier this year from the writers' group PEN America showed that Texas has banned more books than any other state.

  • Granbury was near the top of the list with 133 banned books.
  • Birdville, Denton, Frisco, Keller, Prosper and Richardson schools were also listed.

What they're saying: A Keller ISD spokesperson told WFAA: "The safety of our students and staff will continue to be of our utmost concern."

What's next: On Dec. 12, the Keller ISD board will vote on whether to arm teachers and other district employees with guns.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Dallas.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Dallas stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Dallas.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more