Book banning in Texas schools: Titles are being pulled off library shelves in record numbers

Her safe haven is now a battleground in an unprecedented effort by parents and conservative politicians in Texas to ban books dealing with race, sexuality and gender from schools, an NBC News investigation has found. Hundreds of titles have been pulled from libraries across the state for review, sometimes over the objections of school librarians, several of whom told NBC News they face increasingly hostile work environments and mounting pressure to pre-emptively pull books that might draw complaints. 

Records requests to nearly 100 school districts in the Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin regions — a small sampling of the state’s 1,250 public school systems — revealed 75 formal requests by parents or community members to ban books from libraries during the first four months of this school year. In comparison, only one library book challenge was filed at those districts during the same time period a year earlier, records show. A handful of the districts reported more challenges this year than in the past two decades combined.

All but a few of the challenges this school year targeted books dealing with racism or sexuality, the majority of them featuring LGBTQ characters and explicit descriptions of sex. Many of the books under fire are newer titles, purchased by school librarians in recent years as part of a nationwide movement to diversify the content available to public school children.

Here are 50 books Texas parents want banned from school libraries

NBC Book banning in Texas schools: Titles are pulled off library shelves in record numbers