Book Ban in Texas

Sofia Basulto

Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, has now been actively fighting to ban books from Texan schools that he and his team deem ‘vulgar and explicit material’ since December of last year. While being one of the only republican states acting in this tremendous book ban, Texas has managed to ban over 400 titles, concerning race, sexuality, and gender. Including “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky,  “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margret Atwood, and many more. Because of their description of “explicit material” many are opposed to this position. 


Pulitzer Prize winner  “Maus” by Art Spiegelman, has been removed from the libraries of many high schools in the Texan school districts, due to its “unnecessary use of profanity and nudity and its depiction of violence and suicide.” Although trying to portray the holocaust accurately, the graphic novel was judged as “too adult-oriented”.  


Spiegelman created “Maus” in honor of his Father. The graphic novel is about Vladek Spiegelman, a concentration camp survivor telling the horrifying story of his experiences as a Jewish man during World War 2 and the holocaust to his son Artie. With illustrations of Jews as mice, and Nazis as cats, Spiegelman uses drawn-out metaphors to portray what his father went through. Although some themes in “Maus” may be deemed “Graphic” it’s a wildly important story to tell. 


Another book that was banned was “The diary of Anne Frank”.  another book that told the story of the holocaust. Virginia school districts have had the book banned for over 10 years (Originally banned in 2010). It was pulled off the shelves for “including sexual content and homosexual themes”. The diary was written by the Jewish girl, in August of 1944, from an annex in Amsterdam with her family. The head of the Virginian school districts felt the jokes written in the 15-year-olds diary, were too inappropriate, and instead, they should silence her voice and her story.  


Those are just 2 of the hundreds of award-winning books that have been banned from “conservative states”. Storys like “To Kill A Mocking Bird” by Harper Lee (Of which is currently being read by English 10 classes), “1984” by George Orwell, and “The hate you give” by Angie Thomas, have all been removed from student access. 


Honest and Important moments in history have been watered down. The people that these acts have affected are ongoing, they are being silenced and villainized for their trauma. When instead they should be able to tell their stories how they were intended to be told. 


Final note: Because I couldn’t get my interviews I was wondering if for my next story I can do a follow-up article about “To kill a Mockingbird” and “1984” and compare California to Texas Rules? Both stories are currently being read by Downey students.