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"The Hate U Give" is Back in Katy ISD Libraries

The controversial book, The Hate U Give, is back on shelves in high schools across Katy ISD. It includes a parental consent that can be given by a phone call, email or an in person consent by the parent.

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS January 15, 2018 Katy Magazine Editors

The critically acclaimed novel by Angie Thomas about a black teen dealing with the aftermath of witnessing a police shooting that killed her unarmed friend was returned to the district’s high school libraries last Thursday, after being pulled from Katy ISD junior high and high schools for what district leadership called, "racially insensitive" language. The move attracted national attention and has spurred many discussions locally.

Rumors of banning from Katy ISD schools According to Katy ISD, the book was temporarily removed from high school library shelves, but rumors that it was banned (officially or legally prohibited) from schools are untrue. The following is a direct quote from Maria DiPetta, Media Relations and Multimedia Manager for the Katy ISD Communications Department:

"On Thursday, January 11, the Katy ISD administration determined that the book The Hate You Give could be returned to high school library shelves, while it is pending committee review. The book can be checked out with informed parental consent, which can be given by phone, email or in person. The book was not, and never has been, banned by Katy ISD. The book was temporarily removed from junior high and high school library shelves after it was challenged by a parent for containing pervasively vulgar and racially insensitive language. The book was temporarily removed solely on its pervasive vulgarity and not its substantive content."

Discussion groups and public response

Katy Budget Books, a community bookstore that specializes in selling gently used items, created a Banned Books Discussion Group to meet on Fridays at 7 p.m. that included talks about The Hate U Give and how concerned community members could respond. Tensions were high and several people in attendance noted that arguments arose.

In a school publication, CRHS County Line, Cinco Ranch student and Features Editor Angelica Arinze presented a strongly worded opinion column on the basis for the book's removal from school libraries. "Though many schools and districts have banned books based on language and content being too mature for the students, the particular pulling of this newly-published work and not countless other books in school libraries with the same kind of language baffles me, especially taking into consideration that, unlike most other controversial books, this book is centered on an American teen grappling with police brutality and the Black Lives Matter Movement," says Arinze. The full feature can be read here.

Back on the shelves pending a committee review

The Hate U Give has been made available to high school students who obtain parental consent, pending a future committee review.


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