Texas Rep. Matt Krause launched an investigation into school library books and curricula just months after Texas lawmakers sought to ban the presence of critical race theory from public campuses.
Krause has drawn up a list of 850 books on subjects ranging from racism to sexuality that could “make students feel discomfort,” and is demanding that school districts across the state report whether any are in their classrooms or libraries. According to a letter sent Monday, Krause requested information about the number of copies of each book the districts have and the money spent on them. He has also directed the districts to identify “any other books” that could cause students “guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex or convey that a student, by virtue of their race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.”
Along with the letter, Krause included a list of book titles that includes bestselling and award winning novels, from the 1967 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Confessions of Nat Turner” by William Styron and “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates to last year’s book club favorites: “Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women that a Movement Forgot” by Mikki Kendall and Isabel Wilkerson’s “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.” Alongside books addressing race, Krause’s list also contained books about teen pregnancy abortion and homosexuality, including “LGBT Families” by Leanne K. Currie-McGhee, “The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to their Younger Selves” edited by Sarah Moon, and Michael J. Basso’s “The Underground Guide to Teenage Sexuality: An Essential Handbook for Today’s Teens and Parents.”
Krause, a Fort Worth Republican lawmaker who chairs the state’s House Committee on General Investigating, recently announced his campaign for the position of state attorney general against incumbent Ken Paxton.
“Your prompt attention to this request is appreciated,” he wrote in his letter to the deputy commissioner of school programs at the Texas Education Agency and several school district superintendents. He gave them a Nov. 12 deadline to respond.