State Rep. Matt Krause, a Republican who chairs the House Committee on General Investigating, wrote on Oct. 25 to the Texas Education Agency and a group of unnamed superintendents, notifying them of the inquiry.
In the letter (pdf), Krause said a number of school districts across the state have recently removed books from libraries and classrooms after receiving objections from students, parents, and taxpayers. The letter cites five incidents as examples, which mostly involved concerned parents who complained that certain books are sexually explicit or teach CRT.
“In accordance with the Committee’s jurisdiction and my authority as Chairman, I am initiating an inquiry into Texas school district content,” he said.
Attached to the letter is a 16-page list (pdf) containing more than 840 books, published between 2021 and as early as 1969. It includes titles that are popular among social and racial justice activists, such as “Stamped from the Beginning: the Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America” and “How to Be An Anti-Racist” by Ibram X. Kendi, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander, and books about the Black Lives Matter movement.
Also on the list are books focused on transgender, gender identity, homosexuality, adolescent sexuality, pregnancy and abortion, including those discussing the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe v. Wade. It also includes “V for Vendetta” by Alan Moore, likely because of the graphic novel’s portrayal of homosexual characters.
Specifically, Krause asked school districts to report on how many copies of each listed book they possess, and how much money was spent on those books.
Krause further asked that school districts identify any other books that cover topics including “human sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, or HIV or AIDS, sexually explicit images, graphic presentations of sexual behavior that is in violation of the law,” or contain material that might violate the anti-CRT law by conveying that students are inherently racist or sexist or should feel guilt because of their sex or race.
The school districts will have until Nov. 12 to respond to those questions, according to the letter.
The initiative faced almost immediate opposition from Texas’s teachers’ unions. In an Oct. 26 statement, Texas State Teachers Association President Ovidia Molina said Krause’s letter “smacks of a witch hunt.”
“This is an obvious attack on diversity and an attempt to score political points at the expense of our children’s education,” Molina said.
Molina was joined by Zeph Capo the president of Texas American Federation of Teachers, who called the move “akin to the Red Scare” and a waste of taxpayer’s dollars.
It is unclear what Krause is planning to do once the school districts provide him with the information. The Epoch Times has reach out to his office for comment and will update this article accordingly.