Texas lawmaker Matt Krause targets 850 pounds he says could make students uncomfortable: NPR

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Texas Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, reviews the schedule as lawmakers rush to finish business Friday, May 26, 2017, in Austin, Texas.

Eric Gay / AP


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Eric Gay / AP


Texas Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, reviews the schedule as lawmakers rush to finish business Friday, May 26, 2017, in Austin, Texas.

Eric Gay / AP

A Texas lawmaker is asking schools in the state to tell him if they currently hold any of the roughly 850 books on a list he compiled, explaining that he is targeting documents that “could students from discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of distress because of their race or gender.

The investigation by State Representative Matt Krause, a Republican, quickly alarmed the authors of the books and the state’s teachers’ association. The unusual request, which was first reported by the Texas Tribune, also sparked confusion among school districts over how to comply with such a broad request.

Krause sent a letter on Monday to the Texas Education Agency and state school district superintendents, asking each official to confirm whether their schools have a book on their list, along with a detailed account of their location and how much money was spent for them.

The lawmaker did not explain what the next steps might be, but his request mentioned several recent efforts to remove books from libraries and classrooms if they focus on issues ranging from transgender identity to theory. criticism of the breed. He gave officials until November 12 to respond.

Krause’s office was not immediately available for comment.

The list includes an Amnesty International book

Books on Krause’s List include titles such as The great American anyway, a young adult novel by Tim Federle, and “Pink is a girl’s color” … and other stupid things people say, a children’s picture book by Stacy and Erik Drageset.

Non-fiction books are also on the list, from How prevalent is racism in society? by Peggy J. Parks on behalf of Amnesty International We were all born free: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in pictures.

The investigation is a “disturbing political overtaking in the classroom” – and it could be illegal, said Ovidia Molina, president of the Texas State Teachers Association.

“Nothing in state law … gives a legislator the power to conduct this type of witch-hunt,” Molina said in a statement. She added: “This is a clear attack on diversity and an attempt to score political points at the expense of our children’s education.”

Books on the list cover sexuality, racism, and American history

Some of the books on Krause’s List explain puberty and reproduction. Others discuss pregnancy and abortion, either from a textbook perspective or through fiction. At least 11 of the books focus on the benchmark Roe vs. Wade decision. that of John Irving The rules of the cider house, whose main characters include a doctor who performs abortions, is also on the list.

Many books speak of race. The list includes An African-American and Latin history of the United States States, a title well-reviewed by University of Florida historian Paul Ortiz, who seeks to add nuance and precision to America’s long-accepted histories.

The list also includes that of Mikki Kendall Hood Feminism: Notes From Women A Movement Has Forgotten – eliciting a response from Kendall.

“I am in good company” Kendall wrote to be on Krause’s list. She shares the space with two books by Ta-Nehisi Coates; others include that of William Styron Nat Turner’s Confessions.

Other authors are also responding to the survey, as reported in the Houston Chronicle.

Krause is currently locked in an overcrowded primary race

Krause made the request through the House Committee on General Investigations, which he chairs. But political observers in Texas note that Krause also intends to gain a statewide office. He is one of many Republicans defying Attorney General Ken Paxton, who seeks re-election in the party’s primary next March.

By raising the issue of books, Krause is also raising his image by making a political statement, said Brandon Rottinghaus, professor of political science at the University of Houston. Tribune.

“He’s not well known statewide, so he has to lay a Tory flag high enough to get noticed,” Rottinghaus said.

House committee vice-chair calls investigation a waste of time

Krause’s letter to school leaders cites the committee’s power to consider any “matter the committee considers necessary for the information of the legislature or for the welfare and protection of the citizens of the state.”

But the Democratic vice chairman of the panel said the investigation was a waste of taxpayer dollars and educators’ time. State Representative Victoria Neave says it is an attempt to obscure the facts and exploit a wedge issue for political gain.

“Republicans are whitewashing our history at a time when communities of color fueled explosive population growth in our diverse state,” Neave said via Twitter.



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