CYPRESS, Texas — Parents of Cy-Fair Independent School District students will soon be allowed to choose which books their kids can read at district libraries.
The new policy was approved by the school board recently and comes as districts across the state are debating on book bans in libraries across Texas.
It has been a hot-button topic, and now in CFISD, parents will have control over the books their children can read.
School library book content has been a controversial topic. Some want to ban books that deal with race, sexuality and gender while others want them to remain on shelves.
"Exposing children to sexual material is not censorship -- it's protection and parent's rights. It’s a huge step in the right direction," parent Alexi Swirski said.
Some students don't agree with the idea of taking books off the shelves.
“The way that schools are changing the way students access books is unfair to students, teachers and librarians,” sixth-grader Veronika Skoda said.
Cy-Fair ISD came up with a policy that allows each parent to control what their kids are reading.
"Parents should have a choice on what their own students can read. Should not have a choice on what other students can read," Bridgeland High School senior Ryan Lam said.
How will it work?
All of the books in district libraries, e-books and the ones in classrooms will be evaluated. They'll be classified based on age, relevance diversity and variety. No harmful or obscene material will be allowed to remain.
The books will be divided into three categories:
- Pre-K through 6th-grade books will be considered juvenile
- Books for grades 7 and 8 will be for juvenile and young adults
- Grades 9 through 12 will have access to juvenile, young adult and adult books
Parents will choose
Parents will have the opportunity to choose the category their child can have access to in the libraries.
Lam said he's an LGBTQ student and has full support from his parents. He's happy to see this policy in place.
"I am glad they didn’t ban books and (the policy is a) good stepping stone for a safer environment for school," Lam said.
The new policy will go into effect on Nov. 15 -- meaning teachers and librarians have about three months to go through and categorize the books.
The local teachers' union said the teachers already have a lot on their plate and now they have to add this to their list. The school board said that if the categorization isn't done by the deadline, they would be willing to push the date back.