Texas Banned More Books Than Any Other State Last Year, Analysis Finds

A study of book bans in the U.S. found that Texas had the most prohibitions of any state.

The analysis was conducted by PENAmerica, a nonprofit organization. promotes free expression and human rightsThis was found by. 1,648 titles have been banned by schools across the entire country. Many of these books featured LGBTQ characters, were Black or Brown, or dealt with themes of feminism.

Texas is the only state to have banned more books than Texas. Between July 2021 to June 2022, 801 books were prohibited in 22 districts. According to reporting from The Texas Tribune:

The most frequent books removed included “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe, which depicts Kobabe’s journey of gender identity and sexual orientation; “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison; “Roe v. Wade: A Woman’s Choice?” by Susan Dudley Gold; “Out of Darkness” by Ashley Hope Pérez, which follows a love story between a Mexican American teenage girl and a Black teen boy in 1930s East Texas; and “All Boys Aren’t Blue” by George M. Johnson, a personal account of growing up black and queer in Plainfield, New Jersey.

Florida took second place566 titles were either banned or restricted. Pennsylvania was third in the analysis with 457 books being banned. However, the majority of those bans were placed in one district in conservative York County.

Jonathan Friedman, the director of PEN America’s free expression and education programs and the lead author of the report, condemned the book bans by these and other school districts.

“This rapidly accelerating movement has resulted in more and more students losing access to literature that equips them to meet the challenges and complexities of democratic citizenship,” Friedman said in a statement.

The banning of books is “especially harmful to students from historically marginalized backgrounds, who are forced to experience stories that validate their lives vanishing from classrooms and library shelves,” Friedman added.

Texas district students have taken action against the curricula and school libraries that denied them access to banned books. Katy Independent Schools District, for instance, has banned books. Last school year, more than 100 students created a club to give banned books to their peers..

Maghan Sadeghi was a senior at high school in the district earlier this year. The Texas TribuneWhy she felt it was important to participate in the student-led project.

Schools are “OK with heterosexual scenes, heterosexual ideas,” She noted. “But the second something turns slightly, slightly queer, slightly homosexual, it discomforts them. It’s the same thing with [people of color] viewpoints. ​​Why do we have to remove books about Black people and Asian Americans simply for the sake of white people’s comfort?”

Most Texans are opposed to the ban on booksAccording to polling done by the University of Texas/Texas Politics Project in January, 62 percent of respondents said they were against districts taking action to remove certain books from school libraries. Only 29 percent supported the bans, while 62 percent said they were against districts taking action to remove certain books.