A state law banning “sexually explicit” books from Texas schools will now go into effect, after an appeals court temporarily blocked a lower court ruling.
The three-judge panel did not offer any reasoning. Their decision is temporary until the full court can hear and decide on the merits of the case, which is likely to happen next month.
A panel of three judges, two of whom were appointed by former President George Bush and one of whom was appointed last year by President Joe Biden, ordered an administrative stay of the previous order, effectively allowing the book-rating law to go into effect.
If stores are found to be out of compliance they could be barred from doing business with schools, which smaller, independent stores have said would highly damaging. Bookstores around the state have also warned that a requirement in the bill for stores to retroactively analyze all books they’ve sold to schools by next spring is not workable.
Good news, via the best headline I’ve seen in awhile: “Butts allowed back in Katy ISD library books after board clarifies book banning policy”.
After an unprecedented round of book banning in Katy ISD led to the removal of several elementary library books depicting cartoon rear ends, the board of trustees on Monday scaled back the conditions under which a book may be banned.
The board unanimously approved a new update to the policy that in August was changed to add “nudity” as a reason for removal. Prior to the August change, elementary level books had never been banned in district history.
The district has now amended the policy to clarify that only “explicit frontal nudity” is grounds for a book’s removal.
The Monday revision was requested by board members Dawn Champagne and Rebecca Fox, both of whom initially voted in support of the policy.
While the district has yet to comment on why the new books were banned, many of the books, including David Shannon’s award-winning children’s book, “No David!” contain an image of a cartoon buttocks.
“The board’s intent was never to remove well-known cartoon-like children’s books just because they showed a little drawing of a little boy’s rear-end,” said board president Victor Perez.
Perez previously said the 14 newly banned books were removed by a committee, not the board.
Champagne stated that she did not think it was fair to hold librarians responsible for the book removals.
“I don’t blame the librarians for following the new policy the way that it was written about nudity and implied nudity, which obviously led to some of our most beloved children’s books to be removed,” Champagne said. “I’m also personally sorry that I did not pay better attention to the implications of the wording in the policy that we voted on a couple of months ago.”
See here for the background. I’m equally impressed by Victor Lopez’s blame-shifting and Dawn Champagne’s willingness to own the problem. Now let’s see if any of the libraries that felt compelled to pull those books are willing to restock them.