Books have taken a beating recently, with some 32 states having reported a book ban. But everything is bigger in Texas, so they’ve taken their book banning up a notch.

One district is letting go of 28 librarians, and will be repurposing some of the libraries as “Team Centers,” where students who need behavioral support will be sent. 

The libraries are being turned into discipline centers.

The Houston Independent School District has been underperforming, so Superintendant Mike Miles’s solution is to get rid of books. The state of Texas took over the school district, and appointed Miles, who now leads the “new education system.”

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This act is despite studies that show taking away books isn’t the answer. In fact, more access to books is. A recent Cambridge study stated that children who read more for pleasure have higher cognitive scores and better overall mental health.

Most parents don't even want book bans. The American Libraries Association’s survey found that  “Three-quarters of parents of public school children (74%) express a high degree of confidence in school librarians to make good decisions about which books to make available to children.”

These statistics cross party lines, too: 

  • Large majorities of voters (71%) oppose efforts to have books removed from their local public libraries, including majorities of Democrats (75%), independents (58%), and Republicans (70%).
  • Voters across the political spectrum say public libraries (89% of all voters and 95% of Democrats, 78% of independents, 87% of Republicans) and school libraries (92% of all voters and 96% of Democrats, 85% of independents, 91% of Republicans) play an important role in communities and schools.
  • Voters across the political spectrum say public libraries (89% of all voters and 95% of Democrats, 78% of independents, 87% of Republicans) and school libraries (92% of all voters and 96% of Democrats, 85% of independents, 91% of Republicans) play an important role in communities and schools.

Wyoming has dipped a toe in the arena, too, with a long-time public library director Terri Lesley fired over refusing to purge books, the Natrona County School board having arguments on the subject, and a superintendent potentially ousted over a conservative group’s push to ban books.

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