Recording of Texas superintendent telling librarians to release books about LGBTQ people goes viral


Jeremy Glenn, who serves as superintendent of the Granbury Independent School District, told librarians he was concerned about students reading books including LGBTQ+ people and themes in January, according to ProPublica. Now, those kind of lines with the discriminatory missive sent by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, which noted he wanted librarians to remove “pornographic” and “obscene” books from school library shelves.

But Glenn’s instructions would have referred to all books with LGBTQ+ themes, including those that don’t have gender in them. Glenn argued that such books do not align with community beliefs and could expose students to inappropriate ideas.

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“I don’t want a kid to pick up a book,” Glenn said in a recording of a meeting he held with librarians Jan. 10, per BNC News. “Whether it’s homosexuality or heterosexuality, and reading about how to connect sexually in our libraries.”

Glenn apparently couldn’t help himself, explicitly spitting transphobia. He told the group he was going to “take it a step further” and then shared his backward ideas about gender identity.

“There are two genres,” he told librarians per NBC News. “There is a male and there is a female. And I recognize that there are men who think they are women. And there are women who think they are men. And again, I have no problem with what people want to believe, but there’s no room for that in our libraries.

It’s truly amazing that the Conservatives suddenly say they have “no problem” with something and then say they want to ban it or criminalize it. Mental gymnastics!

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated problem. Republicans have attempted to pull, ban or even burn books in a number of states across the country. A school board in Tennessee recently withdrew Maus, an award-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust, from his eighth-grade curriculum, for example. Parents in a Kansas school district have gone viral for trying to get Not all boys are bluea memoir for young adults by award-winning journalist George M. Johnson, drawn from the schools.

In Texas alone, more than 800 titles have been threatened. These books are, again, largely written by and about marginalized people. This means that students who might feel uniquely heard and seen by the content (or who might learn and grow by reading it) are missing out on valuable connections and learning opportunities.

Ultimately, we know that book bans aren’t even popular in the polls. But Republicans will spread hysteria and hype until he wins the mainstream. Again: it’s not really about the books. It’s about the people who are depicted there and their removal.

Who’s up for a banned book club here at the Daily Kos?

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