Two Texas Schools Cancel Visits With Acclaimed Author Emma Straub
Best-selling novelist Emma Straub published her first children’s book this month, and while on tour promoting it, she’s scheduled to visit a number of schools to share her story and engage with kids. But at least two schools originally on the list have backed out of the visit because of content on the famous writer’s social media platforms.
It’s the latest example of more and more schools banning books and restricting students’ exposure to literature due to a push by conservatives to control public education.
According to CNN, Straub, who has written hit books like All Adults Here, Modern Lovers, The Vacationers, and This Time Tomorrow, flew to Houston last week for the Texas leg of her book tour. But upon landing, she discovered that two of her planned public school events had been canceled.
She explained in more detail on her Substack:
“Here’s what I could find on my social media that a Texan school board might object to: the abortion fundraiser we hosted at Books Are Magic, at which we raised more than $15,000 for abortion funds, one of my sons in a dress, and our ongoing Melt The Guns fundraiser for Everytown, for which we have raised (to date) over $25,000,” she wrote.
“I am very proud of all of those things, and obviously I come from a place of extreme privilege in pretty much every way possible, and my various livelihoods are not impacted by these schools choosing not to host me,” she continued. “Mostly it just made me think about all the incredible books and authors that won’t be welcome in these schools and others like them, and all the kids who are missing out. So I guess the PSA here is to join your local school board if you want a say about which authors are invited (or uninvited) from your kids’ schools.
One of the schools, Katy Independent School District, explained to parents and teachers that the visit was canceled due to a difference in “community values.”
“The visit was intended to be an opportunity to visit with a children’s book author, who wrote Very Many Hats and learn about the writing process,” said the letter. “However, it has been brought to our attention that this author has regularly used inappropriate and foul language on her social media platforms — specifically repeated use of the “F” word. This type of language, as you know, does not align with our school and community’s values.”
To be fair, Straub has used the F-word on social in the past.
“F—k guns, f—k people who care more about controlling women’s bodies than protecting all of us from people with guns, f—k! it’s too much. So heartbroken,” she wrote in May, directly in the wake of the Uvalde school massacre… which happened at a public school in Texas.
Thank goodness these Texas schools are protecting their students against swearing, at least.
“I was sorry not to be able to read my silly book about hats and imagination to those kids,” she wrote on Twitter regarding the school cancelations. “The only F words in the presentation: funny, feline, feelings.”
Her new children’s picture book, Very Good Hats, is about how you can use your imagination to make almost anything into a hat, from a pajama pants to books.
I know, very dangerous literature.
The book published on January 10.