Flower Mound High School's student-led newspaper


Flower Mound High School's student-led newspaper


Flower Mound High School's student-led newspaper


Christine Bolitho (right), Valme Alvarez and Adam Morrison each pose for a photo, excited to start teaching at Flower Mound. They all came from different backgrounds, but were ready to educate. “I guess you could say it’s my dream to come work in Lewisville because its such a good district,” Bolitho said.
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Nina Aitha and Isabella Reyna October 24, 2023

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Texas Book Ban: What You Need to Know About House Bill 900

Keaton Shaffer

House Bill 900, which aims to prohibit “sexually explicit” books from school libraries, was set to go into full effect on September 1st. That was before District Judge Alan D. Albright issued a preliminary injunction, prolonging the process. 

After House Bill 900 was passed earlier this year during Texas’ 88th Legislative Session, Texans now grapple with the potential mandate, reacting with a myriad of emotions from outrage to triumph. 

But first, what does House Bill 900 entail? If enforced, vendors who sell books to school districts will be required to submit a curated list to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) of the “sexually explicit” or “sexually relevant” rated books that they sold to the school district the preceding year. Assuming that House Bill 900 goes into effect in the future, vendors will be required to repeat this process every year by September 1st. 

“The intent behind [the bill] was to make sure the books that schools purchase are appropriate and don’t contain inappropriate material,” FMHS librarian Karen Storrie said.

To receive a “sexually explicit” rating, a book must present references to sexual behavior that are “patently offensive” and do not fit within a school’s required curriculum. Books considered “sexually explicit” are prohibited and cannot be sold to Texas school districts.

“Sexually relevant” rated books, however, contain portrayals of sexual activity that fit within the school curriculum. “Sexually relevant” books are allowed in Texas school libraries, but students who wish to check them out must first receive parental consent.  

“I’m being more conscientious about [the books] I buy, which is a good thing,” Storrie said. “I make sure that [students] are getting the books that are appropriate and good for [them].”

Austin-based District Judge Alan D. Albright has temporarily blocked House Bill 900, telling lawyers that the state shouldn’t enforce the law. Many Texas school districts already have book-buying systems established to ensure that library material is appropriate. 

“I don’t see it affecting [our district]. We already have procedures and policies in place,” Storrie said. “When we order books, we have to make sure it has two different reviews from credible sources and that it’s appropriate for the age level we’re buying for.”

Book vendors and librarians across the state argue that House Bill 900 poses a hindrance to students’ learning and an infringement upon vendors’ rights. Some also contend that the bill is far too vague and targets protected speech, a direct violation of the First Amendment.

With Albright’s injunction in place, the state cannot enforce House Bill 900 until further order of the court. Until further action, Texans question when and if House Bill 900 will take effect.

House Bill 900 can be viewed here.

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