Book Ends: Houston’s final solution to school discipline

This is one of those news stories that leave you thinking, “Either they are this stupid, or this intent on destroying public education.”

Houston’s “independent school district” has come up with a new plan for students who don’t learn in classrooms that aren’t conducive to learning.  They are going to create “discipline centres” for students who don’t or can’t blindly and immediately obey in the classroom (whether because of racist teachers, bullying, autism, hungry and can’t focus, difficulties at home, or other reasons why students have problems).

Their solution?  Close the school libraries and turn those spaces into the “discipline centres”.

This is beyond obscene, and a good argument for federal takeover of education at all levels.  What do they plan to do with the books, burn them?

Houston school district to turn libraries into disciplinary centers

Critics condemn superintendent Mike Miles’s ‘new education system’ that removes students’ access to books

The largest school district in Texas announced its libraries will be eliminated and replaced with discipline centers in the new school year.

Houston independent school district announced earlier this summer that librarian and media-specialist positions in 28 schools will be eliminated as part of superintendent Mike Miles’s “new education system” initiative.

Teachers at these schools will soon have the option to send misbehaving students to these discipline centers, or “team centers’” – designated areas where they will continue to learn remotely.

News of the library removals comes after the state announced it would be taking over the district, effective in the 2023-24 school year, due to poor academic performance. Miles was appointed by the the Texas Education Agency in June.

Libraries are often the one place of sanctuary in schools for kids who can’t handle “structured learning”, where kids start digging through books and find their own interests, inspiration, and reasons to work hard and learn.  Turning libraries into “discipline centres” will kill off any remaining interest in education and access to books that some of those kids ever had.

My first two thoughts on this latest rightwing war on education:

(1) Is this how they plan to eliminate LGBTQIA books and sex education books from schools, by eliminating books, period?  It reeks of what Utah and other places did about student groups: They couldn’t ban LGBTQIA student groups without being called biased, so they eliminated ALL student groups.  They’re eliminating books for the same reason.

(2) Poor neighborhoods aren’t just food deserts, they’re book deserts, too. How many kids and families live in areas without public libraries?  And since they’re poor, they can’t exactly afford to go out and BUY books.  Their money is usually reserved for other things (e.g. racist cops targeting the poor and non-white people with tickets and fines).

Just when you think rightwingnuts can’t sink any lower morally, they dig a mineshaft straight down to hell.  I’d bet if someone created Little Free Libraries in poor neighborhoods, then politicians, cops and other white supremacist organizations would try to criminalize and destroy them.



  1. Bruce says

    These right-wingers truly believe that slaves learned useful skills and got a net benefit from being slaves. And the right wing greatly resents that black people “benefited so much” from being enslaved. So they assume any poor student in Texas is a bad student because god hates them for ripping off white people who were nice enough to enslave their ancestors, even if the student is 100% Latino whose ancestors lived in Texas before any whites. So the right wingers figure that it’s not moral to allow minority or poor kids to get an education, because god wants them to be uneducated manual labor servants.
    In other words, right wingers wonder why we speak of them destroying public education as if the destruction is a BAD thing.