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NEISD releases list of books updated or replaced after review for appropriate content

This comes after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott asked education leaders to investigate whether pornography or sexual content was available in public schools.

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio's North East Independent School District removed or "updated" 110 books kept on its campuses after librarians reviewed more than 400 titles for vulgar content. 

The district posted summary results of its review on its website, specifying which books will remain on their current library's shelves. 

The report indicates librarians may have replaced publications that did not clear review with newer editions of the same works or different books that cover similar subjects. 

Data indicate librarians threw out some books without replacing them, though it's not entirely clear which titles are no longer available for checkout. 

NEISD announced its review after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott asked educators to investigate whether pornography or sexual content is available in public school literature. 

Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, also asked Texas schools to provide information about certain books in their libraries. 

In an October letter, Krause asked school districts to comb their shelves for 850 different titles and report inventory to the legislature. Most of the books cover the LGBTQ experience, race relations, or abortion. 

It's not clear what Krause intends to do with the information. Most districts ignored the lawmaker's directive. 

All 110 books that NEISD says librarians removed or "updated" appear on Krause's list. 

The district offered five rationales for "updating" titles: Superseded by newer edition or more recently published book on the same subject, superseded by a book with more positive reviews on a similar subject, poor professional reviews, outdated content, or lack of reviews.

Half of the books flagged for dated content were published in the last decade. The oldest title was published in 1988. The second-oldest came out in 2004. 

Workers moved six books from a middle school library to a high school library, and five other books from an elementary school to a middle school. 

Another 311 titles, including works on race relations, LGBTQ experiences, and abortion, will remain on their current shelves.

Librarians flagged popular titles such as "The Cider House Rules," and "V for Vendetta" for updating or removal. They also flagged "The Year they Burned the Books," "Gays and Mental Health: Fighting depression, saying 'no' to suicide," and "How prevalent is racism in society?" for removal. 

The district says the recommendations were "based solely on professional journals" with a final decision and review made by campus librarians.

The NEISD board of trustees discussed the review Monday night. During their meeting, district officials said there has always been a review process for age-appropriate content in libraries. District officials also said these books were not reviewed based on the viewpoints presented within the books. The full recording of the meeting is here. 

Click here for the full list of reviewed books and the results of the review.


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