EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – El Paso City Council unanimously approved a proposition to have all public libraries display banned books and make them more available to the public.
The proposition came from YWCA and was brought to the City Council agenda by District 2 representative Alexsandra Anello on Februrary 1.
The council backed up the proposition with an unanimous vote to have El Paso Public Library Services display books that have been deemed as pornographic and inappropriate by some parents around Texas and rest of the country.
Representative Annello explained that this initiative is meant to support not just the school librarians but also the education system as a whole.
“If these books are so enticing to be questioned and be taught then they are probably going to be enticing for students to read. So we want to put that front and center so we can say these are the books that people don’t want you to read because they don’t want you questioning various issues that are important to us as a culture,” Annello explained.
Some of the books on the list are classics like To Kill a Mockingbird, Catcher in the Rye and Animal Farm, as well as some other known titles discussing racism and sexuality.
One of the books is Gender Queer that also stirred controversy during Canutillo ISD board meeting last November.
“This is not about the gender issue, this is about pornography, explicit sexual scenes,” said one of the concerned parents during the meeting last year.
Annello, backed up by the City Council, believes that these are topics that need to be included in youth education.
“There is nothing in To Kill a Mockingbird that is controversial. Racism, segregation, slavery, those are things that happened and have had long term impacts on people of color and they should be talked about otherwise we’ll just be repeating the same mistakes…”District 2 representative Alexsandra Anello
YWCA has made a list of the banned books and will continue to update it.
The organization is also setting up a donation system for the public to give away books from the list to the libraries.
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