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News Busters
24 Feb 2024
Tim Graham

NextImg:NPR Honors Anonymous Texas Teacher and Her 'Secret' Library of 'Banned' Books

Taxpayer-funded National "Public" Radio hates Republicans, and in red states like Texas, leftists become heroes for their "courage" in dangerous territory. On Wednesday's Morning Edition, openly gay NPR arts reporter Neda Ulaby spent seven minutes touting how "A secret shelf of banned books thrives in a Texas school, under the nose of censors."

On NPR, the "censors" are censored: there's no opposing viewpoint on the "banned books." And the heroic teacher and her queer students are all granted anonymity.

ULABY: These students have a lot in common besides attending the same public school.

UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT #2: We're all minorities.

ULABY: And they're all queer. The secret bookshelf, they say, is the one place where they can easily find books that give them characters they can immediately relate to.

UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT #4: Just to see, like, Latinos, LGBTQ - that's not something, like, you really see in our community, or it's not very well represented at all.

UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT #3: Well, I am a young black lesbian, and I don't meet people like myself in my day-to-day life, either. So reading these characters in these books - it really gives me hope.

ULABY: You will not hear the names of these students. NPR has confirmed their identities, but they worry about the consequences of going public with their secret classroom bookshelf.

UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT #4: We don't want to jeopardize our teacher in any way - or the bookshelf or the district or the school.

ULABY: Or themselves. Sharing such books in a Texas public school has felt dangerous for the past few years. These students do not want to draw the ire of antagonistic activists or put their teacher at risk. 

The villain in this NPR story is Republican Matt Krause, who as a state legislator in 2021 made a list of 850 books he was questioning in Texas school libraries. He wouldn't return comment, so apparently there was no one else in the vast state of Texas they could find to dissent from their orthodoxy. 

ULABY: I reached out to former Texas lawmaker Matt Krause for comment repeatedly and got no response. He's currently running for county commissioner in Fort Worth. 

But the unidentified teacher not only has disdain for Republicans, but for the parents of the children she's "helping" with all the queer literature: 

ULABY: To be clear, this public school with the secret bookshelf in Texas, it's not in a fancy part of town. Many students there do not have parents who can drop everything to get their kids books about being queer. Here's the teacher.

UNIDENTIFIED TEACHER: Oh, I have taught kids whose parents have never set foot in a classroom. They are from small towns in other countries, and their parents were farmers. I've had kids whose names were not spelled correctly because their parents were illiterate. You know, a lot of the kids have parents that did not go to college. A high amount of kids here are on free and reduced lunch.

Ulaby did find leftist Kasey Meehan of the "free speech advocacy group" PEN America to find the secret shelf "incredible, and it's really courageous." Maybe if they were more courageous, they wouldn't hide behind NPR's fur coat of anonymity. But it makes the "secret" public-relations angle more sexy.

NPR wouldn't feel this way if a teacher in California had several hundred Christian books and bibles and "anti-LGBTQ" titles they were secretly sharing in a "dangerous" blue state, would they?