TLA Statement: Katy ISD Removal of The Hate U Give

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Intellectual freedom is one of the Texas Library Association’s (TLA) most strongly held core values. Libraries provide access to diverse books and resources, ensuring the freedom to read which is essential to an informed and engaged democracy.

Recently Dr. Lance Hindt, the superintendent of Katy Independent School District (Katy ISD), directed district librarians to remove The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas from their collections. A parent of a 6th grade student went directly to a Board of Education meeting and challenged the book due to questionable language.

Professional school librarians followed proper procedures and district policy in selecting the book, which received widespread critical acclaim and positive reviews for addressing challenging issues of race and police brutality. As stated in Katy ISD’s Instructional Resources Policy, “District professional staff shall endeavor to maintain a balanced collection representing various views when selecting instructional resources on controversial issues.“

School librarians know that not all books are appropriate for all students, and respect that the school board’s policy for challenged resources will see that due process is given when an item needs to be reconsidered. When due process is circumvented, the opinions of one or two individuals are imposed on the larger community, and a valuable opportunity to consider all sides of the issue and make an informed decision is lost.

TLA sent a letter to Dr. Hindt requesting that Katy ISD follow established school board policy to properly determine the placement of The Hate U Give, and will continue to support local librarians in their efforts.

Created on Dec 5, 2017 | Last updated December 05, 2017