Deep Dive: Book Bans in GCISD

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At a glance: A new policy adopted in Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District prohibits teachers and librarians from selecting certain books for use in classroom instruction, in classroom libraries, in school libraries, and for book fairs. By November 2022, 129 books were moved to Parental Consent Closets, and an unknown number have been banned and removed. The district is not following its own policy, and has not been at all transparent about who is determining which books stay and which go. All of this destruction and confusion is political, with taxpayers spending $25,000 on a politically affiliated lawyer, and driving away teachers and district leadership. The Book Bans in GCISD are one example of the loss of excellence, independence, and respect in GCISD.

What books are banned in GCISD?

Feb. 27, 2023 Update:

There’s good news and bummer news regarding book banning in GCISD. 

GOOD NEWS: Finally, after six months of waiting, a proposed purchase list of library materials will be reviewed by the Board of Trustees at the February 27 Board Meeting. 

BUMMER NEWS: Advanced English classes and ASPIRE English classes are still restricted from using 18 books that passed through the community book review process. Why?

Good News: Board to finally consider purchasing new library books — after six months of stagnating libraries

Finally! It has been six months since GCISD’s New School Board Majority approved its book banning policy in August 2022. We have been frustrated that NO new library books have been purchased all school year. GCISD’s library collections were stagnating, because librarians were banned from purchasing newly published books or fresh copies of books to replace worn out copies of books they already owned.

Why did it take the Board so long to get this going? The school year is half over and we’re just now seeing their first list of proposed library acquisitions, which the Board will review on Monday, Feb. 27, 2023. We do not blame the staff — in fact, they are doing so much with so little, since GCISD hasn’t been able to fill key librarian staff positions all year. The District Librarian and Digital Materials Specialist, and the CHHS Librarian positions have been open all year. 

Questions about proposed books for acquisition

  • Since GCISD doesn’t have a District Librarian, then who is the “district designee” proposing these books to the trustees? 
  • How do we contact the District Designee to recommend a book be added to the libraries? 
  • Will the public know if the book gets approved or denied? 
  • Is the Board applying the Miller Test when considering books?
  • What is GCISD’s remaining budget for library book acquisitions this year? 
  • What was the process for books being added to the proposed acquisition list?
  • Did anyone in the community propose purchasing any books that did not end up on this proposed purchase list? If so, why not? 

Links to find out more about GCISD’s proposed library book list and the 20-step acquisition process:

Bummer News: No update yet on why 18 books are still banned from GCISD Advanced & ASPIRE English classes

In addition, 18 books remain banned for use in GCISD classrooms. These books were reviewed by a teacher/admin committee or reviewed by the parents/community in Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 as books that could be used by students opting into Advanced English and ASPIRE (highly gifted) English classes. 

But as of Feb. 27, 2023, the community has not been given a reason for the banning of these 18 books, without any challenge filed regarding any of the books:

  1. Arcadia by John Stoppard — banned for use in ASPIRE Advanced Placement  English Literature 12th grade
  2. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley — banned for use in ASPIRE 10th grade
  3. Endgame by Samuel Beckett — banned for use in ASPIRE Advanced Placement  English Literature 12th grade
  4. Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin — banned for use in Advanced Placement  English Literature 12th grade
  5. House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros — banned for use in ASPIRE 09th grade
  6. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison — banned for use in ASPIRE Advanced Placement  English Literature 12th grade
  7. Love, Hate, and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed— banned for use in ASPIRE 08th  gradeBook Club
  8. Monster by Walter Dean Myers (09th grade) — banned for use in ASPIRE 09th grade
  9. Native Son by Richard Wright — banned for use in Advanced Placement English Literature 12th grade
  10. Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani, The — banned for use in ASPIRE 06th grade Book Club
  11. Passing for Normal by Amy S Welensky — banned for use in ASPIRE 08th grade Book Club
  12. Positive: A Memoir by Paige  Rawl — banned for use in ASPIRE 08th grade Book Club
  13. Red Scarf Girl by Ji-Ling Jiang — banned for use in ASPIRE 06th grade Book Club
  14. Refugee by Alan Gratz — banned for use in ASPIRE 06th grade Book Club
  15. Someone Like Me by Julissa Arce — banned for use in ASPIRE 08th grade Book Club
  16. Trifles by Susan Glaspell — banned for use in ASPIRE 09th grade
  17. Turn of the Screw by Henry James — banned for use in ASPIRE Advanced Placement  English Literature 12th grade
  18. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens — banned for use in Advanced Placement  English Literature 12th grade Book Club

It has been about a year since the community approved these books. 

Should the district follow its book approval procedure and allow Advanced & ASPIRE English students the opportunity to read these books in class? Give us your opinion in the comments of our social media — @UnitedforGCISD

Feb. 9, 2023 Update: View our slideshow of books that are banned in GCISD

Or click on the individual slides below to view it larger in a new tab.

The Law: What does it say about protecting minors from pornography?

The US Department of Justice: says that “Federal statutes specifically prohibit obscenity involving minors. … The standard of what is harmful to minors may differ from the standard applied to adults.  Harmful materials for minors include any communication consisting of nudity, sex or excretion that (i) appeals to the prurient interest of minors, (ii) is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community with respect to what is suitable material for minors, (iii) and lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.”

The State of Texas has a similar statute, adding “is utterly without redeeming social value for minors.”

The Texas Education Agency released statewide standards for how school districts should remove and prevent “obscene content” from entering Texas public school libraries, writes the Texas Tribune. The Commissioner of Education is quoted as saying, “There have been several instances recently of inappropriate materials being found in school libraries.” It is of important note that he uses the word “inappropriate” but does not use the legal word “obscene.”

The National Coalition Against Censorship discusses important definitions: “”Terms like “sexually explicit” and “pornography” are so subjective as to be essentially meaningless. They can be applied to Hustler and National Geographic, Madame Bovary and Fifty Shades of Grey. This kind of material is also protected speech, unless it’s obscene. To be obscene, a book would have to be “patently offensive,” “appeal to the prurient interest,” and, most critically, “lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.” Some explicit and pornographic content might qualify as obscene, but not all – and certainly not books like Beloved or those on the summer reading list: Coe Booth’s Tyrell, Walter Dean Myers’ Dope Sick, and Ranbow Rowell’s Eleanor& Park.””

Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District’s policy can be accessed within the Policy Code Website.

  • Legal Framework of Instructional Resources mentions the school library law: A district possesses significant discretion to determine the content of its school libraries. A district must, however, exercise its discretion in a manner consistent with the First Amendment. … Students’ First Amendment rights are implicated by the removal of books from the shelves of a school library. A district shall not remove materials from a library for the purpose of denying students access to ideas with which the district disagrees. A district may remove materials because they are pervasively vulgar or based solely upon the educational suitability of the books in question. Citation: Board of Education v. Pico, 457 U.S. 853 (1982)
  • GCISD’s Instructional Resources policy is divided into policies for the Library and for classroom Instructional Materials
Restricting access is the definition of banning books. Source:

Why is United for GCISD obsessed with book bans? 

We believe that censorship is one of the first indicators that a perpetrator is attempting to seize control over a community’s freedom of speech, its openness to ideas, its potential for scientific discovery, and its inclusion of everyone. 

To quote directly from the American Library Association: Censorship is the suppression of ideas and information that some individuals, groups, or government officials find objectionable or dangerous.  Would-be censors try to use the power of the state to impose their view of what is truthful and appropriate, or offensive and objectionable, on everyone else. Censors pressure public institutions, like libraries, to suppress and remove information they judge inappropriate or dangerous from public access, so that no one else has the chance to read or view the material and make up their own minds about it. The censor wants to prejudge materials for everyone.  It is no more complicated than someone saying, “Don’t let anyone read this book, or buy that magazine, or view that film, because I object to it!”

Restricting books and mandating parents give permission to access certain sections of books is considered banning books. 

75% of Americans oppose book banning and more than 90% of voters are against banning the hundreds of classic novels and children’s books that extremist groups have targeted for banning. (Source: Every Library Institute

Ready to act? Join parents in speaking up against censorship in GCISD. 

What do we know about GCISD’s policy on instructional materials and library materials — aka the book policy?

First, we don’t know exactly who wrote the book policy. We do know that it cost taxpayers more than $25,000 in legal fees.

You may have heard Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District’s new policy for books allowed in classrooms and libraries is based on state and federal law. That’s only half true. Much of the policy is not based in law; it was written, without community input, by the New School Board Majority and a lawyer who is entwined with local political action groups. 

When asked in April 2022 who wrote the policy, GCISD Trustee Casey Ford was unwilling to publicly state who wrote it. Watch the video. “Community members,” he said. When asked again who it was, Mr. Ford said, “Several of them. I’m not answering any more questions.” Moments later in the same meeting, Shannon Braun first said she was shocked when her name was on the proposed policy, and then said, “Casey and I proposed this.” Mr. Ford was asked yet again, and he said: “Attorney-client privilege. I met with attorneys, I don’t have to tell you anything. I met with people who have relationships with attorneys on input that our community members. Some of them are attorneys, but they are community members, and I can talk to a community member. … I helped write it but I don’t remember (what parts I wrote).”

This happened a week after Keller ISD banned 40 books and canceled their book fairs, and GCISD had canceled its book fairs, too.

How and when did Book Bans start in GCISD? Give me the highlights in chronological order. What happened?

If you didn’t vote in the last School Board election, you may be unaware of the ongoing campaign funded by wealthy corporations to falsely declare GCISD as a failing district where pornography is pushed by teachers. 

Fall 2021: GCISD parents and people completely unaffiliated with GCISD, who were obviously recruited, began speaking at public board meetings and reading passages from books about child rape and teenage sex. For months, these citizens rallied against the school board and publicly demanded the removal of books; however, none of these parents ever initiated the formal book review process that was already in place.

Fall 2021: The district responded by removing Kite Runner as required reading, and then invited the entire community — parents, grandparents, residents, business owners — to 3 public meetings to provide feedback about books the district was considering for classroom instruction. After hundreds of hours of preparation by at least a dozen teachers, fewer than 50 citizens bothered to show up to the 3 Community Book Review sessions. Afterwards, no report was given to the public about the findings of the Community Book Review.

February 2022: Fox News reports that extremists are criticizing the Scholastic publishing house for sneaking in woke topics to their books. Read more. 

April 2022: Two trustees co-sponsor a new policy to “address difficult issues against porn, pedophilia, CRT, gender identity, and transparency.” GCISD Trustee Casey Ford and GCISD Trustee Shannon Braun refuse to reveal who wrote this 9-page policy that the district’s existing law firm reviewed and subsequently responded with a 48-page legal review that the board voted to keep confidential. Then, the New Board Majority Hired a second law firm to issue a different opinion from a lawyer who works closely with the Tarrant County Tea Party (and whose firm’s founder had spurious affiliations in the 1900s) and was paid at least $25,000 to assist in the writing of this policy. More is below. 

May 2022: A New Board Majority of trustees is elected. One of our new Trustees told Fox and Friends that she was elected “to get some new blood in there to get rid of the stuff that was in our schools. … The sexualization of the curriculum, with the young students being exposed to this graphic material, some of it which is visual, covering all sorts of sexual acts and the parents are tired of it, and they want it out of the schools.” Of course, no concrete examples were given.

June 2022: Over the summer months, the New School Board Majority presses the Chief Financial Officer to cut $4 Million in teacher positions from the 2022-2023 school budget. The New School Board Majority brags about a “balanced budget,” knowing that there were contracted expenses that were not included that would have to be added later once the press of a “balanced” budget was released. With contracted salaries not reflected in the budget, and with the expectation of a tumultuous year with a brand new hot-button policy on the horizon, staff are resigning. The District Librarian quits. The Director of Humanities quits. The Executive Director of Secondary Education quits. The Director of Curriculum quits. The Director of Digital Learning quits. The Colleyville Heritage High School Librarian quits. No one is giving public updates. No one is left to oversee the book process.

August 22, 2022. The third day of the school year. Close to 200 individuals, a mix of parents of GCISD students and non-parents, spoke at the school board meeting. Most of the parents of GCISD students opposed the new book policy and asked for more time for community input. The book policy was approved by The New School Board Majority — Casey Ford, Tammy Nakamura, Kathy Florence Spradley, and Shannon Braun.  

August 26, 2022: Grapevine High School students conduct a walkout in protest of the policies. Read more at the Dallas Morning News.

September 2022: Everyone is confused about the 9-page, 20-step process for approving books for use in GCISD. Teachers spend the first 9 weeks of the 2022 school year unsure if they could have a classroom library at all, and many choose to remove libraries altogether to avoid the possibility of being reprimanded under the unclear new guidelines. Finally, on October 31, the district provided teachers training about the policy via a video of someone reading the nine-page policy over PowerPoint slides. Librarians have had little guidance without a District Librarian, who quit last spring. They weren’t sure which books to keep and which books to quietly hide or even throw in the trash. Elementary Librarians were given additional work to start reading and evaluating high school books.

September 2022: GCISD Superintendent Dr. Robin Ryan announces his plans to retire after 13 years at the helm. The Dallas Morning News publishes this insightful article: “Conservative ‘takeover’ of North Texas schools start of new playbook to expand GOP power? PAC-funded wins in local districts stir up Republican base ahead of elections.” 

October 2022: The district tells WFAA-TV News that Scholastic mis-merchandised a book last year and it could not provide a list of books for sale ahead of time (and also maybe because of a Scholastic employee’s personal tweet about the Dobbs Supreme Court decision). Scholastic claims that it offered to provide the list in advance, just not in the days the district outlined, and further offered to set up the fair with extra days in advance for librarians to double check merchandising and books. This was not enough to keep the New Board Majority Trustees from canceling Scholastic as a vendor.

October 31, 2022: Students had the day off so that the district could conduct In-Service Professional Development for all teachers and staff. The training on the 9-page policy was this 30-minute video of a slideshow of the policy and someone reading the policy verbatim:

November 2022: In response to the knee-jerk cancelation of Scholastic Book Fairs in GCISD, parents formed United for GCISD and hosted an independent Scholastic Book Fair. In 48 hours, 700 shoppers raised $10,000 in book donations; but they ultimately were not allowed to donate brand new books to the district because of the convoluted policy that would require all the trustees to read and approve every book donated, nor would they accept Scholastic dollars to choose their own books.

October 2022: Over 100 books that are typically sold in bookstores like Barnes & Noble were quietly moved to a Parental Consent Closet in the GCISD high school libraries. Books like 2001: A Space Odyssey, 1776, and by authors Stephen Hawking, Amy Tan, Madeleine Allbright, and Neil Degrasse Tyson. Granted, these books are not sold in the Children’s section of a bookstore, but it is absurd to use the euphemism of “adult books” and imply these books are obscene or pornographic. They are books on advanced and challenging topics and should be freely accessible to students who want to read them. More details are below. 

Restricted shelving is the definition banned books

November 2022: We find out that additional books across the high schools are banned and removed for content such as teenage sexual encounters, same-sex relationships, or crimes of rape or child abuse. Calling these books “obscene or pornographic” is legally incorrect, although we understand that some parents may find them highly unsuitable for their own teenagers to read. The problem we are seeing is that these books have vanished without accountability, and 129 advanced books have been locked up. More details are below. 

Our timeline has been going for more than a year and the district has racked up over $25,000 in lawyer fees. The lawyer attends every school board meeting, racking up additional hours.

December 2022: The district engaged the Literati company to put on book fairs this school year. The first book fairs are planned for Timberline, Silver Lake, O.C. Taylor, and Bear Creek Elementary Schools this month. It is unknown if Literati has provided the district with a book sale list, and if so, if any books on the list were banned from the sale (and if so, why and who made the decision). The Literati flyer advertises books like Turning Red, Lightyear, New From Here, and I Color Myself Different by Colin Kaepernick — all of which are appropriate for certain aged readers, but it is unclear if the district will allow these books to be included or if they will be censored and removed prior to the sale

We will continue to update this timeline with new announcements.

Sorry, no. Zero books owned by GCISD are triple-X. None of the books removed would qualify as obscene under Federal or Texas law.

You said GCISD locked books in a Parental Consent Closet. Ah ha! Is this where GCISD is hiding all the pornographic books?

Again, no. The “adult” books in the high schools’ Parental Consent Closets are books that you would find in a Barnes & Noble. Books that your grandma’s book club would have read years ago. Books that your nerdy cousin talks about. Books written by and about political and historical giants. They are labeled Adult as opposed to Young Adult, but that does not in any way mean graphic or explicit. 

You be the judge. What’s in the Parental Consent Closet at your school?

  • Click here to see the list of GCISD school libraries.
  • Then click on your High School or Middle School. (Elementary Schools’ banned books are not posted in the catalog as of this writing.)
  • Click on the word Catalog in the upper left corner.
  • Click on the Sublocation dropdown menu, and choose “Parent Consent.”
  • Click your mouse (or tap) into the Find box, but leave the box blank.
  • Click Enter on your keyboard.

As of this writing, Grapevine Middle School had 7 banned books. Grapevine High School had 129 banned books.

A small sample of the Parental Consent Closet at Grapevine High School, grouped by subject matter:

  • Civil rights — The Help, The Audacity of Hope, Empire of Cotton
  • Surviving a horrific childhood memoirs — Kite Runner, The Glass Castle
  • Science — A Brief History of Time, The Radium Girls, The Next Pandemic, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Cosmos
  • Suicide / LGBTQ experience in high school — Dear Evan Hanson
  • Politics — Fascism by Madeleine Albright, 1776, Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee, All The President’s Men by Woodward and Bernstein
  • Memoirs — Bird by Bird, The Joy Luck Club
  • Christian experience — The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Before We Were Yours

Calling such books “adult material” is totally absurd. You’ve been misled. These books are not everyone’s cup of tea, but, seriously? We see no problem with a 14- to 18-year-old having access to these books on a standard high school library shelf. 

My friend is absolutely certain that books with obscene, pornographic content are in our school libraries.

No one at GCISD will publicly say that ANY books have been pulled from circulation, or banned and removed.

Through some sleuthing, we can confirm they’ve removed some books at the secondary schools — but instead of imagining the worst triple-X bookshelf, let’s review some realities about the books that have been banned and removed. We can easily see what is really being censored, hiding behind the label of pornographic and explicit materials.

Examples of sexual content in the banned and removed books:

  • Characters commit criminal offenses, such as child abuse and rape, against other characters who bravely overcome being a victim of these crimes 
  • Small drawings of bodies as part of a background in a graphic novel
  • Written descriptions of sexual experiences of teenagers (heterosexual and same-sex teenage couples) — having crushes, kissing, participating in sex — in a novel
  • Characters who question or break gender norms 
  • Nonfiction, fact-based books about LGBTQ history and civil rights
  • Content that describes an uncomfortable and harsh aspect of American history and present day, such as the violence of slavery or racism encountered by today’s Black Americans. 

Families may agree or disagree on the propriety of these books for our own teenagers; however, we are certain these books would NOT be legally categorized as obscene or pornographic, and we are certain that NO pre-teens and NO young children EVER had access to these books. These banned books were in high school libraries, not elementary libraries. The students visiting the school libraries are aged 14 to 18.

Can parents sign to “opt out” their students from the Parental Consent Closet? 

Yes. GCISD sent an email to most families explaining the Parental Consent Opt Out or Opt In form, with a link to “Permission to Read Above Grade Span” instructions. 

The response has been tepid. As of mid-November, there were 28 students in the entire district whose parents had “opted out” of allowing them access to the books in the Parental Consent Closet. All of this time and money and negative press for a fraction of the population, whose parents always had the option to request alternate reading materials and could have requested an opt out at any time prior to this.

GCISD has 14,000 students. That means that 0.2 % of students may not access the Parental Consent Closet. That means GCISD spent $25,000 on lawyers and countless hours of staff time to write this policy. That means taxpayers spent $892.86 per opting-out student to create this 9-page policy, even though the district has always stated that parents could directly contact teachers to opt out assignments that conflicted with their family’s values. This gross misuse of taxpayer funds is heartbreaking.

We are aghast that the New Board Majority led such an irrational over-response to a few public speakers’ demands. The cost to GCISD has been great — and we don’t mean just financially. We have lost experienced staff and librarians because of the stress and uncertainty caused by this policy. Students did a walkout in protest of the policy. Our district’s woes have been featured in the New York Times, NBC National News, The Daily Beast, Texas Monthly, and all DFW-area TV channels and newspapers. The news coverage reveals just how much conflict and strife the New School Board Majority has caused. 

Are you one of the 28 families who opted out? We would love to hear from you. Did you obtain a list of the books in the Parental Consent Closet before deciding to opt-out? How did you get the list?

Who is in charge of the book review process at GCISD?

Literally no one. We haven’t had a District Librarian since they quit last spring, and despite the job listing being posted for months, the Executive Director of Human Resources told the Board in November that we were unlikely to be able to hire one for the rest of the school year.

The GCISD book policies are intentional road blocks and were a political move. A good faith effort would have involved the community and would have mirrored the tried-and-true standard review processes adopted in school board policies for reviewing a parent complaint, such as:

At the time of the first mention of offensive material in our schools last May, there had been zero formal complaints submitted. Some of the banned and removed books hadn’t been checked out in years. With the change in the book policies, there is now no need for a formal complaint, there is no review process, there is no committee. 

There is also no head librarian to roll out and enforce the processes dictated by the new policies.

Why are families concerned for GCISD teachers and librarians? 

Please help us get the word out about the decline of our excellent district and the lack of respect for our professional educators that our New Board Majority has enabled.

Teachers and librarians are being driven away by unreasonable regulations and fear mongering if they speak out against blatant censorship. They have been working under duress for years now, and asking for new supports outside the traditional curriculum instruction and extra vacation days. 

We cannot expect educators to continue working in a place where they don’t feel respected, trusted, or when it’s clear their efforts to create a quality education aren’t the priority. 

The GCISD book policy complexities have blocked $10,000 in book donations from United for GCISD and a donation of hundreds of gently used books from a Protect GCISD book donation drive.

Recent changes to school board policies are acting as a barrier to equitable education for all students. United for GCISD offered for the district to give librarians autonomy in selecting new Scholastic books with credits earned from the Fair. 

“We actually felt like we were making a huge compromise giving them the flexibility to choose what books to buy and how to distribute them,” says Book Fair Lead Organizer Kristine Leathers. “But it’s obvious the real issue is the policies restrict what librarians and admin can even do. There is no reason to buy new books right now, because they don’t know what is in or out.” 

The final result is well-known Scholastic books are no longer welcome in GCISD schools.

Popular titles sold at the book fair include titles from the I Survived books by Lauren Tarshis @laurentarshis and books by Alan Gratz Refugee and Ground Zero @alangratz. Katherine Applegate’s @kaaauthor newest title Odder was also an exciting topic, there was even an early reader version of The One and Only Ivan. 

For a list of banned books, parents can reference the Scholastic website. 

The Community-wide Scholastic Book Fair not only raised $10k in donated books and Scholastic book credits, it united more than 700 people in less than 48 hours. 

Why were 10 books rejected for ASPIRE use, even after being reviewed by the community? 

GCISD’s ASPIRE program educates our highly gifted students who “typically score in the 99th percentile in multiple domains on a nationally normed aptitude test and also demonstrate remarkable achievement in qualitative and/or quantitative domains,” according to the district. They are academically ready for challenging material and have opted in to ASPIRE specifically for the advanced workload. For example, their scores on Middle School PSATs are equivalent to a typical high school Junior’s scores.

How and when were books evaluated for ASPIRE this year?  

GCISD hosted an all-day and an evening Community Book Review in May 2022 at which attendees could evaluate the books proposed for use in ASPIRE English courses, beginning with 6th grade ASPIRE English and ending with 12th grade ASPIRE Advanced Placement English Literature and Language. Attendees were given a list of the books beforehand. At the sessions, the district provided: the book itself; a synopsis of the book; a list of mature content with page number; a rationale for why the book was being proposed for class use; the TEKS and/or College Board Standards, a professional literary review; reviews from Goodreads or Common Sense Media, if available; AP language or literature exam appearance; if the book had appeared on the ALA Challenged Books or State Rep. Matt Krause’s List (none were on the list).

What books were approved for ASPIRE secondary use? What books were banned and why?

Approved books: The books from this review that GCISD is allowing in ASPIRE secondary classes were posted on GCISD’s website under AP/ASPIRE Academy Parent Book Review

Presumed banned books: The books below were reviewed during the May 2022 community meeting for possible ASPIRE secondary use, but they did not get added to the approved books list. No one has told us why. [Note: Several are for “book club” which is a term GCISD uses for books that are among several available choices for small groups of the class to read and discuss; as opposed to “whole class” books that the entire class reads together.] We presume these books are banned from ASPIRE secondary:

6th grade ASPIRE

  • Red Scarf Girl by Ji-Ling Jiang (book club) — presumed banned
  • Refugee by Alan Gratz (book club) — presumed banned
  • The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani (book club) — presumed banned

7th grade ASPIRE

  • None reviewed

8th grade ASPIRE

  • Love, Hate, and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed (book club) — presumed banned
  • Passing for Normal by Amy S Welensky (book club) — presumed banned
  • Positive: A Memoir by Paige  Rawl (book club) — presumed banned
  • Someone Like Me by Julissa Arce (book club) — presumed banned

9th grade ASPIRE

  • House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros — presumed banned
  • Monster by Walter Dean Myers  — presumed banned
  • Trifles by Susan Glaspell — presumed banned

10th grade ASPIRE

  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley — presumed banned

11th grade ASPIRE

  • None reviewed

12th grade ASPIRE

  • Arcadia by John Stoppard — presumed banned
  • Endgame by Samuel Beckett — presumed banned
  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison — presumed banned

What can I do?

The countdown to taking back GCISD in the May 2023 election has begun. Potential candidates are already gathering support. United for GCISD doesn’t endorse candidates, but we will make sure our voters know who is supported by outside special interests and factions, and who understands the issues that are important to GCISD. 

GCISD, we only have one option. We have to unite and overturn the board majority to reflect what we know a majority of our community wants — to restore excellence, independence, and respect to GCISD. 

Here is how you can help:


Get out information. #UnitedForGCISD is our hashtag. Here are our social media links:

Attend official United for GCISD events and social.

Buy a shirt, a yard sign, or car sticker — show the community that you are UNITED for GCISD! Coming soon!


Money is the only way we can compete with the Texas billionaires’ onslaught of mailers, signs, ads, and events that make people aware of the issues at hand and the urgent need to vote. Our 501c4 sponsor is the Texas Bipartisan Alliance, which is run by a volunteer board of Grapevine-Colleyville parents with parents from Keller and Southlake. All of our independent districts were targeted last year by the same faction who boasted about taking us all over. We’re taking it back. Donate now.


And last but not least — we must UNITE around ONE candidate for each of the two school board places up for election in May 2023. In a very divided community like ours, PLURALITY voting with no runoffs could keep the majority of voters from getting a trustee they approve of. 

Join United for GCISD to be part of the process to select the candidate for their commitment to our shared values: restoring excellence, independence, and respect to GCISD. Support United for GCISD with a donation today.