Over the last few years, the growing moral panic about kids these days and what they’re learning in school has led to yet another frenzied crackdown on what books are allowed in schools. Generally, the books that end up in the crosshairs of these crusades have to do with race and gender. Anything that can be generally grouped under terms like “Critical Race Theory” or that dreaded catch-all “woke” get branded as a menace. And now, a Dallas-area school district is removing all challenged books from its shelves, a list that includes an adaptation of Diary of Anne Frank, a Toni Morrison book and, in a twist, the Holy Bible.
Among the books was Maia Kobabe’s Gender Queer, Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, Ashley Hope Pérez’s Out of Darkness and Anne Frank’s Diary. And, once again, the Bible.
God’s Word was presumably not the target of the group that made these challenges. Especially since the three newest school board members who approved of the decision were financially backed by Patriot Mobile Action, a Christian political action committee that exists to “support and defend our First Amendment Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion,” according to the group’s website.
Critical Race Theory is a once obscure corner of legal study that has become a broad and poorly understood term in the culture wars, with political activists accusing teachers of using this field of academia to indoctrinate children against America. How exactly the Bible ended up as part of this crusade isn’t clear although, to be fair, it’s not like the Bible doesn’t have a lot of social justice in it.
“Right now, Keller ISD’s administration is asking our campus staff and librarians to review books that were challenged last year to determine if they meet the requirements of the new policy,” the school district said in a statement. “All of the books included in Tuesday’s email have been included on Keller ISD’s Book Challenge list over the past year. Books that meet the new guidelines will be returned to the libraries as soon as it is confirmed they comply with the new policy.”