A Texas-based school district has started removing so-called controversial books from its library shelves that examine race and gender, including an adaptation of Anne Frank's diary and the Holy Bible.
Keller Independent School District near Fort Worth has already pulled 41 books from student access, in anticipation of new policies adopted by district officials last week.
"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 district said in a recent statement, sent via email to school officials. "All of the books included in Tuesday's email have been included on Keller ISD's Book Challenge list over the past year."
According to the NBC affiliate in Fort Worth, the "challenge" list includes race- or gender-oriented books that were originally flagged for removal.
However, within the updated policy — which was approved by Keller school trustees — books that were previously included on the "challenge" list can be reassessed by a panel of parents and community members.
From there, parents, employees, and district residents have the option to "formally file objections to books or instructional materials," per a Keller district spokesperson.
"Books that meet the new guidelines will be returned to the libraries as soon as it is confirmed they comply with the new policy," the statement continued.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has spoken out against the alleged censorship of Anne Frank's published works.
"Anne Frank is among the most well-known of the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust," the Holocaust museum tweeted Wednesday, without making specific mention of the book-removal controversy in Texas.
The Keller district's policy has the appearance of a milder version of what's taking place in Missouri.
A number of Missouri school districts have begun removing books from their library shelves, in anticipation of the new state law intended to crack down on "sexually explicit" materials being available to students.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, signed the bill into law in June. It obliges public school administrators, faculty and staff to shield their students — particularly those 17 and younger — from material that could be construed as racy or sexually provocative.
The state law, which takes effect Aug. 28, is a Class A misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
Missouri law defines "explicit sexual material" as any images or written descriptions of sexual acts or nudity.
As a qualifier, though, such restrictions do not apply to learning content with diagrams about human anatomy, or materials relating to classical works of art.
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