The Katy Independent School District in Texas declined to remove a Michelle Obama children’s biography from school libraries after a parent complained the book cast former President Donald Trump in an unfavorable light.
The book in question – Michelle Obama: Political Icon – is authored by Heather E. Schwartz. The parent who raised the complaint about the book claimed it “unfairly” portrayed Trump “as a bully”, NBC News reported. The biography of the former first lady is reportedly part of a list of 50 books Texas parents want to be removed from school libraries.
The recent incident comes in the wake of heightened efforts by conservatives to have school officials remove books that center on race, sexuality, or gender. Per NBC News, the parent claimed the Michelle Obama book made it seem like “if you sound like a white girl you should be ashamed of yourself.”
Responding to the complaint in a statement to Insider, Schwartz said she was “shocked” there was an effort by someone to have her book removed because it “is a nonfiction book that doesn’t strike me as at all controversial.”
A spokesperson for the Katy Independent School District, Maria Corrales DiPetta, told the news outlet that the district analyzed the book after the complaint was made and concluded it won’t be pulled off the shelves. She also said the school district looks into any complaint that is raised about a book – even if it’s coming from just one parent.
“We could have gotten hundreds of requests, and it would have gone through the same process,” DiPetta said.
Last year, Texas parents raised complaints about a number of books and tried having school officials remove them from libraries, PEOPLE reported. This included a children’s illustration about Olympic legend Wilma Rudolph. A parent claimed the book “opines prejudice based on race.” Another was Toni Morrison‘s The Bluest Eye. One parent wanted it banned because it has a rape scene.
There have also been similar efforts across the United States. In a report, The American Library Association stated there was an “unprecedented” 330 cases of book challenges last fall, according to The New York Times.
“As an author, a reader, and a parent, I’m against book banning on principle,” Schwartz told Insider. “There couldn’t be a safer way for kids to learn about difficult topics, gain new perspectives, and explore the world and their place in it than by reading words on a page.”