In the coming months, you will hear a lot from right-wing politicians about the need to "empower parents" to have more influence over their children's education. As a general concept, this makes sense. Parents should be involved in all aspects of their child's life.
I am a librarian, and have seen these attacks many, many times, but what is interesting to me is when you link the states which continually try to limit kids access to information to that state's health and social ranking you can see a surprising correlation.
For example, Oklahoma. This state is rated 45th by America’s Health Rankings americashealthrankings.org because of its low graduation rate, drug deaths, low birth weight, low voter participation, adverse childhood experiences, avoided care due to cost, high teen birth rate, food insecurity, physical inactivity, high smoking rate, frequent mental distress…need I go on?
Perhaps their elected officials should spend more time and money on these issues rather than on books that just might help kids overcome some of these issues. Just my thought bubble for the day.
Conservatives are ready to "protect" our children from "controversial" topics but not from COVID. #Priorities
This is not a new problem for libraries, neither is the historical and political situation that prompts it. The current wave of repression exemplifies struggles librarians, and especially those working with children, have experience for over a century. Thank you for highlighting censorship efforts so that your public is reminded of the precious resource that public libraries represent.
by all means let's restrict books but not guns
Ironically, by these standards, the Bible itself should be banned.
We need to be certain that the Bible is on any book ban.
genocide, incest, adultery, brutality, "communism" - it's all there
I live in the Northeast and am starting to see this creep into our local school board meetings. In November elections our Democratic town council and school board was swept out and replaced with Republicans. We’ve had at least one concerned citizen speak on the record at a town hearing about a book his daughter got at school that he found objectionable because of the author’s “anti-American bias”.
That wouldn’t be such a big deal if it were just an isolated event but the newly elected school board is now “just asking questions” about how books are selected for our school libraries.
To see this in my local community in the liberal northeast is truly disturbing.
Considering the Bible includes sexual content and most certainly makes anyone feel uncomfortable any such legislation should be used to remove bibles from schools and public libraries …
Kristalnacht a la USA ....
Thank you, Judd. The cynicism of those politicians is absolutely galling.
I come from a family of librarians; my mother worked as the reference librarian at Yale and Tufts, and near the end of her life she was the librarian of the local elementary school. Not only did she know every single book in the library, she knew every single child in that school, including the ones that we would now call non-binary or neuro-atypical, and she would help them find books that could feed their interests or comfort them. For those kids and many others, the library was a refuge. Parents, who are human beings like the rest of us, do not always know what's best for their children. And, as several others have commented, why is a book more dangeous than an assault weapon?
This is part and parcel of the Trumplican's new battle front. They didn't succeed in toppling the elected government on 1/6, so they have retrenched and are now "going back to basics" and are looking to put their people in place in state and local governments, including local school boards, where they hope to have only their "accepted" version of history taught.
The scary thing is, this surreptitious plan is by and large succeeding.
Fascinating that these politicians concentrate on banning books. Shades of Fahrenheit 451. Interesting that none of them is speaking out about movies or what’s on TV…
We have a situation here where I live that a Republican politician is running for County leadership. He is a member of ALEC. And he is going after the public school system in the County. ALEC is heavily supported by industrialists (people like DeVos and Koch) through their various so-called tax-free organizations. DeVos as you know would love to destroy the public schools. She has a string of for-profit charter schools she would love to foist on the American public. To find out what ALEC is doing to our Country, check out these websites: https://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed
Would be interesting to blow the lid off this group and expose it further.
The alt-right has made a cottage industry out of punishing innocents
I agree w comment below. Children's books have long been subject to banning for whatever reason is in vogue at the moment, although today's efforts are much more widespread and crazier. I really wanted to see that list of 850 books, but when I clicked the link, I saw only the letter and the See Attached on p. 3 wasn't a live link. I'll check back later and see if I can get it. Thanks for highlighting this, Judd.
Why don't we just ban reading and get it over with?
It would be such a simple solution. No more hunting down books that might offend our pseudo-Puritanical sensibilities. Our fragile children wouldn't be exposed to ideas which might harm their delicate psyches or develop critical thinking ability (which, of course, they won't need since everything they need to know will be told to them.
Just think how wonderful it would be to return to the era of learning by word-of-mouth. Everything handed down in eight second sound bites. All "pre-sanitized".
And think of the cost savings to school districts with no more books or reading apps to buy. Hundreds of forests could be saved (or used for more toilet paper). Standardized reading tests? A think of the past. Weekend terrors worrying about an upcoming Monday morning spelling test? Never again.
All to save our children from uncomfortable feelings. To save them from a cruel world. To save from reality.
By the way, what will do with horror movies? Call Of Duty? Or the loaded gun under the bed?