“We have a responsibility to ensure that no Texas child is exposed to pornography or obscene content while in a Texas public school."
- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott
Among the books cited as possibly pornographic are “Lawn Boy,” which refers to oral sex between boys, and the other, “Losing the Girl,” which features LGBTQ characters.
Texas state lawmakers last summer banned public schools from teaching “critical race theory,” a decades-old academic theory that is not taught in any public school. In addition to a call to remove books deemed pornographic, Texas conservatives have also moved to ban books that deal with race and gender. Since then, school board meetings have grown heated across the country, including the politically mixed suburbs of Texas’ largest cities, as conservative parents attempt to challenge and remove books they claim are critical race theory or obscene.
Opponents of the book challenges say their real intent is to excise stories by and about minorities and those who are LGBTQ. Richard Price, political science professor at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, and author of the Adventures In Censorship blog, said the attacks amount to a “war on books.” As some schools have caved to such challenges, Price said, the appetite has only grown for more.
“Appeasement of censors only encourages more censorship,” Price wrote on the blog Wednesday.