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Lawmaker Targets 850 Books in Public Schools, Sparking First Amendment Fears

The following article, Lawmaker Targets 850 Books in Public Schools, Sparking First Amendment Fears, was first published on Flag And Cross.

If there is one thing that is truly precious in this nation, it is the First Amendment, and especially when that amendment is used to provoke us into new ways of thinking.

We are a nation of progress, above all else. We’ve changed the way in which the entire world operates, bringing democracy and freedom, (above all else), to the whole of this existence.

That’s a big deal, and we need to treat it as such.

That is why the latest move by one Texas lawmaker has patriotic Americans concerned.

A Texas Republican lawmaker 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.

State Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, also wants to know how many copies of each book the districts have and how much money they spent on them, according to a letter he sent Monday to Lily Laux, deputy commissioner of school programs at the Texas Education Agency, and several school district superintendents.

The list of books took aim at some novels generally-regarded as exemplary works.

Along with the letter, which was first obtained by The Texas Tribune, Krause appended the book list that includes well-known titles like the Pulitzer Prize-winning William Styron novel, “The Confessions of Nat Turner” and best-sellers that were turned into movies or television series, such as John Irving’s “The Cider House Rules,” Alan Moore’s dystopian “V For Vendetta,” and the graphic novel version of Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

And while Krause has not yet explained what he hopes to gain from compiling this list, singling out these titles certainly isn’t for the purpose of elevating their presence in the classroom.

Should Krause decide to push for their removal, it would do the nation some good to remind ourselves of the power of the First Amendment, and the lessons learned from other nations who’ve not had the privilege of experiencing it.

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