Collin County Representative Matt Shaheen announced on Jan.19 that he filed House Bill 1404 that will ban book vendors from selling to Texas schools if they sell obscene materials to schools in the Lone Star State. 

“There is a growing attack on children and I am committed to holding book vendors accountable who expose children to horrific materials that are intended to sexualize our vulnerable kids,” Shaheen said in a statement. “The indoctrination of innocent children with ideologies that are contrary to the ideals and values of our families will not be tolerated.”

This bill is in response to the recent wave of book bans in Collin County school districts. As previously reported by Local Profile, Frisco ISD removed 10 books from school shelves between Feb. and Aug. 2022. At a meeting on Nov. 30, the board voted to permanently remove five more books for the first time.

Book challenges face three levels of review under the new FISD guidelines. Although, there is an expedited review process available if specific explicit or obscene content can be pointed out in a book. 

The first level of review includes parents and staff members examining the material. If the book has been approved but the challenger disagrees, it moves on to level 2 review which involves district officials and administrators. If after this examination the challenger is still unsatisfied with the review, they can appeal to have the board make a final decision.

But not everyone is happy about the recent wave of book bans. Local Profile previously reported that Neil Gaiman, the best-selling author of books such as The Sandman, and recently banned American Gods, took to Twitter to express his outrage over his books being labeled as “obscene.”

The tweet read, “American Gods, Anansi Boys and The Ocean at the End of the Lane have all been banned and removed from the Frisco District. Astonishing…” 

Since the issue began, FISD promised to review one million books in their libraries.