Katy ISD pulls ‘The Hate U Give’ from libraries

Ana Medina, News Editor

Following the Nov. 6 Katy ISD board meeting, the district pulled Angie Thomas’ novel “The Hate U Give”, the story of a young girl who witnesses the death of her unarmed friend by a police officer and winner of the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards Best Young Adult Fiction, from library shelves. A review is pending on the novel’s profane language and drug references following the November 6 Katy ISD board meeting.

Anthony Downs, father of two junior high students, claimed the novel includes inappropriate language, such as curse words and racial slurs, as well as drug references. Downs read quotes from the novel to the board as he questioned the presence of the novel in school libraries.

I did read some of the pages,” Downs said. “I read 13 pages, and was very appalled.”

Since the board meeting in November, “The Hate U Give” can no longer be found in school libraries. Superintendent  Lance Hindt commented on the pending review.

“A review of the book in question shows it to include pervasive vulgarity and racially insensitive language,” Hindt said. “As such, the book has been removed pending further review based solely on its pervasive vulgarity and not its substantive content or the viewpoint expressed.”

The process of pulling or banning a book usually follows a specific procedure. A challenge must be formally made against a book, then the report goes before a committee comprised of librarians, teacher, administrators and students. If the outcome deems the book inappropriate, it is then pulled and removed from the school library. However, “The Hate U Give” was pulled before a formal decision by a committee because of the abundance for profanity. Depending on the outcome of the review, “The Hate U Give” may be banned or returned to shelves.

Author Angie Thomas replied to the potential banning of her book publicly on Twitter.

“I’m saddened to hear that a school district in Texas banned #TheHateUGive, but I’m also empowered,” Thomas said. “You’re basically telling the kids of the Garden Heights of the world that their stories shouldn’t be told. Well, I’m going to tell them even louder. Thanks for igniting the fire.”