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Lake Travis ISD pulls, will review book deemed sexually explicit

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Lake Travis Independent School District confirmed to KXAN it pulled a book from the libraries of two middle schools following at least one complaint.

“Lake Travis ISD received a call (unidentified) that there was material of a pornographic nature in our Hudson Bend Middle School library,” read an initial statement from the district.

After that statement, a district spokesperson told us the book was removed from Hudson Bend and Bee Cave Middle Schools. Its contents will be reviewed with respect to board policy.

“A district possesses significant discretion to determine the content of its school libraries,” said the spokesperson, citing school board policy. “A district must, however, exercise its discretion in a manner consistent with the First Amendment.”

He added: “A district shall not remove materials from a library for the purpose of denying students access to ideas with which the district disagrees. A district may remove materials, because they are pervasively vulgar or based solely upon the educational suitability of the books in question.”


It comes the night after a school board meeting where local mom and former Lake Travis ISD School Board candidate Kara Bell lambasted officials, reading a sexually explicit passage from the book. Because of the topic, you may consider this inappropriate for younger readers.

“I do not want my children to learn about anal sex in middle school,” said Bell, raising her voice to board members. In meeting video from the district’s website, you can hear Bell’s microphone get cut off and a smattering of applause from some crowd members after she finishes speaking.

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The book is “Out of Darkness” by Ashley Hope Pérez.

The book chronicles a love affair between an African American boy and a Mexican American girl against the backdrop of a horrific 1937 explosion in East Texas, which killed nearly 300 schoolchildren and teachers, according t… (Read more)




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