Bell County: What’s in Your Public School Library? (Part One)

Editor’s Note: While graphics and text within this post may be offensive to some readers, the content’s inclusion is intentional, informational and based upon its deemed acceptance by public school officials for student consumption in public school libraries.

Photo by Lynn Woolley for WBDaily.

With the new school year, two things are sure to continue: the battle to keep sexually explicit content in public school libraries and the need for ongoing vigilance.

This cultural battle prompted curiosity on the availability of sexual content in Bell County public school libraries. The findings now beg a logical follow-up question. Do Bell County parents know what’s in their public school libraries?

This is the first of three installments which will address the advocacy for sexually explicit content in public school libraries and notable books found in seven Bell County school districts.

A legislative win prompts a new battlefront

The recent Texas legislative session produced a victory with House Bill 900, also known as the READER (Restricting Explicit and Adult-Designated Educational Resources) Act. This bill, set to take effect Sept. 1, will direct the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, in consultation with the State Board of Education, to adopt standards for public school library collections.

These standards will restrict the inclusion by libraries of harmful material and other sexual or patently offensive content as described in the Texas Penal Code. Vendors will be responsible for rating and appropriately labeling the books.

The bill charges vendors as follows:

A library material vendor may not sell library materials to a school district or open-enrollment charter school unless the vendor has issued appropriate ratings regarding sexually explicit material and sexually relevant material previously sold to a district or school.

In addition to implementing the rating system and restricting future sales, vendors must also recall previously sold sexually explicit-rated materials in active use by districts or schools no later than April 1, 2024.

The lawfare begins

Naturally, pseudoporn peddlers are fighting back and a legal complaint has already been filed.

Per the coalition of booksellers, authors and publishers having filed the suit: 

The Texas law replaces the long-established rights of local communities to set and implement standards for school materials within constitutional boundaries, and forces private businesses to act as instruments of state censorship on controversial topics under threat of retaliation.  Companies that insufficiently comply will be subject to censure through a public listing and Texas schools will be prohibited from purchasing any books from them in the future. The plaintiffs have asked the Court for preliminary and permanent injunctions to enjoin the implementation of the law, which has been signed by the Governor of Texas and is slated to go into effect on September 1, 2023.

“Having fought against sexually explicit content in schools for the past 18 months, I fully recognize the far left will do anything to maintain their ability to sexualize our children,” bill sponsor Rep. Jared Patterson, R-Frisco, responded in a statement which also cited anticipation of such a suit.

“To Texas parents and taxpayers who have fought along our side, I say we are neither surprised nor unprepared,” he continued. “To those standing against Texas schoolchildren I simply say, bring it with everything you have because I don’t want to hear any excuses when we put the final nail in the coffin of your woke agenda.”

A quick primer on today’s sexually explicit books

Graphic text and/or images are featured in the library books addressed by The READER Act. Much “noise” surrounds the content of these books. Critics charge the parents speaking out as being prudish or puritanical, maybe even a bit too Christian. Let them say what they will. The public should judge for itself. Note also that while all content is not equally explicit in its nature, different books address different topics and topic treatment worthy of review.

These screenshots provide examples of the graphics within some of the commonly concerning library books. They either are or have been removed in one or more Bell County schools.

Screenshot “Gender Queer”

Screenshot “Gender Queer”

Screenshot “The Handmaid’s Tale”

The following passage (p. 29-30) from author Alana Arnold’s Red Hood is representative of text found in novels geared toward middle and high school libraries.

There is the pelt of your pubic hair. You keep it trimmed close and neat around the edges, but you like the way it looks and have bucked the fashion magazines that advise you to shear it completely. There is the nub of your clitoris, and again you push away the memory of what James did last night with his tongue. With your right hand, you pull apart the lips of your vagina, and with your left, you angle the tampon toward its opening. You are slick with blood, and so the tampon slips in easily. You push until you’re knuckle-deep in your own body, the first time you’ve touched yourself like this- though you have rubbed your clitoris and touched the outside, you’ve never put your fingers inside, somehow feeling like it was not right, like it would be trespassing.

It’s warm in there, almost hot. It feels like what it is- a muscular tube, made of flesh.

The thrust of your small breasts. Nipples that seem darker than you imagine they should be, the right one smaller than the left.

You are not going to tell your grandmother about the feel of James’s mouth between your legs. You are not going to tell her about your orgasm in his old blue wagon, or about the moonbeam that illuminated his face just as he looked up to see your pleasure on your face and showing you your blood on his.

Here are other examples:

Screenshot “Water for Elephants”

Screenshot “What Girls Are Made Of”

Check back as the next two installments dive further into the sexually explicit library book issue plus include additional school district book listings.

Lou Ann Anderson worked in Central Texas talk radio as both a host and producer and currently hosts Political Pursuits: The Podcast. Her tenure as Watchdog Wire–Texas editor involved covering state news and coordinating the site’s citizen journalist network. As a past Policy Analyst with Americans for Prosperity–Texas, Lou Ann wrote and spoke on a variety of issues including the growing issue of probate abuse in which wills, trusts, guardianships and powers of attorney are used to loot assets from intended heirs or beneficiaries.

Academy ISD

A Court of Thorns and Roses

A Court of Mist and Fury

A Court of Wings and Ruin

A Court of Frost and Starlight

The Assassin’s Blade

Throne of Glass

Kingdom of Ash

Crown of Midnight

Tower of Dawn

Heir of Fire

Empire of Storms

Queen of Shadows


The Bluest Eye

The Perks of Being a Wallflower














We are the Ants

The Kite Runner

The Lovely Bones

The Hate U Give

Looking for Alaska

All American Boys

Absolutely True Diary of Part-Time Indian

A Good Kind of Trouble


Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe


Belton ISD

The Sun and Her Flowers



What Girls are Made Of


Red Hood

Water for Elephants


A Court of Thorns and Roses

A Court of Mist and Fury

A Court of Wings and Ruin

A Court of Frost and Starlight

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Nowhere Girls

Empire of Storms

Heir of Fire

Queen of Shadows

No More Excuses: Dismantling Rape Culture

All American Boys

The List of Things That Will Not Change

Ghost Boys

Hurricane Child


The Gravity of Us

The Hate U Give

She/He/They/Them: Understanding Gender Identity


Period Power: A Manifesto for the Menstrual Movement

Queer: The Ultimate LGBT Guide for Teens

A Good Kind of Trouble

Up North

The Pants Project

Understanding Gender

LGBT Families

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

Birdie and Me


Triple Threat

A Tale of Magic

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