Last Updated on August 7, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes
Title: Houston Community Protests Removal of Libraries from Schools
Community members and elected officials united outside the Houston ISD headquarters in a powerful demonstration against the decision to remove libraries from some schools. The controversial move is part of the New Education System (NES) plan aimed at restructuring the district, with more than 60 campuses transitioning to the proposed system.
Under the NES plan, libraries will be transformed into “team centers” for disciplinary purposes, causing a stir among protesters who argue that libraries should not be sacrificed for disciplinary centers. They firmly believe that alternative solutions can be explored to implement the new system without compromising such integral resources.
At the rally, former HISD librarian, Cheryl Hensley, addressed the concerned crowd, emphasising the potential adverse impact on students who heavily rely on libraries for educational resources. Her heartfelt speech resonated with the attendees who voiced their agreement.
The rally was led by prominent figures such as Congressman Al Green, along with other elected officials, the Houston Federation of Teachers, and the local NAACP chapter. Vocalizing their support, Congressman Green called on the governor and state legislature to intervene and review this contentious decision.
While some schools will still retain libraries, students will be required to adhere to an honor code when checking books in and out. However, numerous frustrated parents have expressed their concerns and asked Superintendent Mike Miles to reconsider his approach. They believe that maintaining fully functioning libraries within schools is crucial for fostering a love for reading and intellectual growth among students.
In response to the decision, the Houston community intends to organize a read-in before the next school board meeting, highlighting the significance of libraries and the longing for their preservation. By coming together in this peaceful event, they hope to exert pressure on the authorities to reconsider the impact of removing libraries from schools.
The debate surrounding the NES plan and its implications for libraries in Houston’s schools continues to gain momentum. As the community stands united, voicing their concerns, it remains to be seen whether Superintendent Mike Miles and the school board will take these genuine worries into account and modify the proposed restructuring plan.