NCAC and ABFFE sent this letter to the Editors of the Austin American-Statesman in response to the removal of TTYL from middle school libraries.
Re: “Round Rock chief removes contested book from middle schools” (November 19)
To the Editors:
We strongly oppose the decision of Round Rock ISD Superintendent Dr. Jesús Chávez to remove TTYL by Lauren Myracle from district middle school libraries. The book was approved by two committees of parents and educators, but Dr. Chávez banned it before the school board could act.
Some parents appreciate books like TTYL because they can create opportunities for adults and teens to talk about sensitive topics. Even if the book’s themes are too mature for some students, they will be meaningful to others. No book is right for everyone, and the role of the library is to allow students to make choices according to their own interests, experiences, and family values. No one has to read something just because it’s on the library shelf.
Banning TTYL sets a dangerous precedent – which books will be next? Forever by Judy Blume? It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris? To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee? All are on the American Library Association’s list of the most frequently challenged titles. The First Amendment protects all parents’ right to guide their children’s book selections. We urge the school board to stand by these principles and return TTYL to district middle schools.