Banning books in schools (1 Viewer)

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    Optimus Prime

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    Excellent article I thought deserved its own thread
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    On the surface, it would appear that book censors and censored authors like myself can agree on one thing: Books are powerful.

    Particularly books for children and teens.

    Why else would people like me spend so much time and energy writing them?

    Why else would censors spend so much time and energy trying to keep them out of kids’ hands?

    In a country where the average adult is reading fewer and fewer books, it’s a surprise to find Americans arguing so much about them.

    In this election year, parents and politicians — so many politicians — are jumping into the fray to say how powerful books can be.

    Granted, politicians often make what I do sound like witchcraft, but I take this as a compliment.

    I’ll admit, one of my first thoughts about the current wildfire of attempted censorship was: How quaint.

    Conservatives seemed to be dusting off their playbook from 1958, when the only way our stories could get to kids was through schools and libraries.

    While both are still crucial sanctuaries for readers, they’re hardly the only options. Plenty of booksellers supply titles that are taken off school shelves.

    And words can be very widely shared free of charge on social media and the rest of the internet. If you take my book off a shelf, you keep it away from that shelf, but you hardly keep it away from readers.

    As censorship wars have raged in so many communities, damaging the lives of countless teachers, librarians, parents and children, it’s begun to feel less and less quaint.

    This is not your father’s book censorship…..

    Here’s something I never thought I’d be nostalgic for: sincere censors. When my first novel, “Boy Meets Boy,” was published in 2003, it was immediately the subject of many challenges, some of which kept the book from ever getting on a shelf in the first place.

    At the time, a challenge usually meant one parent trying to get a book pulled from a school or a library, going through a formal process.

    I often reminded myself to try to find some sympathy for these parents; yes, they were wrong, and their desire to control what other people in the community got to read was wrong — but more often than not, the challenge was coming from fear of a changing world, a genuine (if incorrect) belief that being gay would lead kids straight to ruination and hell, and/or the misbegotten notion that if all the books that challenged the (homophobic, racist) status quo went away, then the status quo would remain intact.

    It was, in some ways, as personal to them as it was to those of us on the other side of the challenge.

    And nine times out of 10, the book would remain on the shelf.

    It’s not like that now. What I’ve come to believe, as I’ve talked to authors and librarians and teachers, is that attacks are less and less about the actual books.

    We’re being used as targets in a much larger proxy war.

    The goal of that war isn’t just to curtail intellectual freedom but to eviscerate the public education system in this country.

    Censors are scorching the earth, without care for how many kids get burned.

    Racism and homophobia are still very much present, but it’s also a power grab, a money grab. The goal for many is a for-profit, more authoritarian and much less diverse culture, one in which truth is whatever you’re told it is, your identity is determined by its acceptability and the past is a lie that the future is forced to emulate.

    The politicians who holler and post and draw up their lists of “harmful” books aren’t actually scared of our books.

    They are using our books to scare people.

     
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    What gives any of us the right to tell any parent what books their children should or should not have access to?
    Those parents who want to show their elementary or junior high children books with pornographic material can show them whatever they want at home. It's crazy that the left thinks that elementary or junior high students need to see pictures of how a boy should give a blow job or men dressing in woman's clothing gyrating sexually is kid friendly.
     

    Anyone who has had any experience with Burbank, CA knows that it is not "far left." Burbank is just right of center by political metrics. The reason Biden won the city is because Biden is center to just right of center. Biden is not a "far left" anything.
     


    Burbank didn't ban any books. They removed those books from the required reading list. Those books are still available in the school libraries and students can still read them at school. Why does the right wing need to lie and distort everything?

    I think that's still a bad decission, but it's not a ban.

    =============
    Experts said liberal or progressive efforts are typically individualized and localized, unlike conservative groups that have expanded into a nationwide movement against certain books.

    Several progressive literary groups, including We Need Diverse Books, have denounced book bans or restrictions and instead focused on diversifying literature.

    Amid the U.S. racial reckoning in 2020, the Burbank Unified School District in California removed several titles from required reading lists in several schools for their use of the n-word after complaints from local parents and a review by administrators. However, the books were allowed to be read in school, carried in school libraries or read in small groups.
    ==============

     

    Banned how, exactly? Do you have any facts at all? Good lord.

    Edited to add: Just as I thought - should have read coldseat’ s post. Will you admit your tweet is a lie now? And quit reading what this liar says? Lol. I know you won’t.

    Second edit: don’t you ever get tired of being just plain wrong?
     
    Those parents who want to show their elementary or junior high children books with pornographic...
    Do you think that a parent or a minority group of parents should be able to ban books that promote understanding, empathy, acceptance, equity, and diversity?

    Everything you said, and have said, about book banning is based on the very false lie that the majority of books being targeted and banned contain pornographic content. That is a flat out lie.

    The majority of the books being banned are being banned because they promote understanding, empathy, acceptance equity, and diversity, without any pornography or adult sexual content in them.

    No one parent or minority group of parents should be able to ban those type of books, so that other peoples kids can't read them either. That is what the current assault on books is really about. It's about keeping the majority of children from being able to read books that promote understanding, empathy, acceptance, equity, and diversity.

    The parents pushing to ban these books already keep their own children from reading them. The banning of the books is to keep other people's children from reading them. They don't need the books to be banned to keep their own children form reading them.

    I know you're going to make a few posts showing isolated examples of books with adult sexual content to try to give the false impression that those are the primary types of books being targeted and banned.

    That's what you do over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over and over again into infinity. You keep cycling through the same few titles with "pornographic" content as if they are typical of the majority of the books that are being targeted and banned. They are not.

    What you will not and cannot do is show that a significant percentage of the books being targeted and banned are banned for containing "pornographic" content. You have not and cannot show that, because it's not true. It's completely false. It's a lie.

    You keep helping to spread the lie that it's about pornographic material, because you, and those who you get your propaganda from, know that you can't sell the majority of Americans on banning books that promote acceptance, equity and diversity. Even more, you know that the majority of Americans won't idly stand by if they know what you are really doing and really up to. So you all resort to telling lies to create false impressions.

    I don't think school libraries should have pornographic content.

    I ask again, do you think that a parent or a minority group of parents should be able to ban books that promote understanding, empathy, acceptance, equity, and diversity?
     
    Burbank didn't ban any books. They removed those books from the required reading list. Those books are still available in the school libraries and students can still read them at school. Why does the right wing need to lie and distort everything?

    I think that's still a bad decission, but it's not a ban.

    =============
    Experts said liberal or progressive efforts are typically individualized and localized, unlike conservative groups that have expanded into a nationwide movement against certain books.

    Several progressive literary groups, including We Need Diverse Books, have denounced book bans or restrictions and instead focused on diversifying literature.

    Amid the U.S. racial reckoning in 2020, the Burbank Unified School District in California removed several titles from required reading lists in several schools for their use of the n-word after complaints from local parents and a review by administrators. However, the books were allowed to be read in school, carried in school libraries or read in small groups.
    ==============

    Your article is based on what PEN America claims.

    “What we’re seeing here is a resurgence of widespread censorship in America,” Nadine Farid Johnson recently told The Wall Street Journal. Johnson is the Washington director of PEN America and co-author of its report claiming to identify 2,532 books banned in public schools during the 2021-2022 school year.

    PEN America advocates on behalf of poets, essayists, and novelists, and it shows: Its report is almost as fictional as the work of the writers it represents.

    It is simply false that 2,532 books were removed from schools during the 2021-2022 school year. We know this is false because we examined online card catalogues and found that 74% of the books PEN America identified as banned from school libraries are actually listed as available in the catalogues of those school districts. In many cases we could see that copies of those books are currently checked out and in use by students.

    Among the books that PEN America alleges were banned are classic works, such as “Anne Frank’s Diary,” “Brave New World,” “Lord of the Flies,” “Of Mice and Men,” “The Color Purple,” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.” In every school district in which PEN America alleges those books were banned, we found copies listed as available in the online card catalogue.

    For example, PEN America claims that “To Kill a Mockingbird” was “Banned in Libraries and Classrooms” in the Edmond public school district in Oklahoma. Edmond’s card catalogue indicates that the library has 10 copies of the book, two of which were checked out at the time we looked.

    PEN America suggests that racism is a major factor driving censorship. The organization reports that “659 banned book titles (40 percent) contain protagonists or prominent secondary characters of color” and “338 banned book titles (21 percent) directly address issues of race and racism.”

    The book “The Hate U Give,” which was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and primarily features black characters, is listed as one of the most frequently banned books, reportedly removed from more than a dozen public school libraries during 2021-2022.

    But when we examine the online card catalogues in those school districts, we find copies of “The Hate U Give” available in every one of them.

    For example, PEN America says that “The Hate U Give” was banned in Goddard Public Schools in Kansas, yet that district’s card catalogue lists nine copies of the book; three were checked out at the time we examined it. Similarly, the book was supposedly banned from the Indian River School District in Florida, but the card catalogue in that district shows 20 copies available, with several checked out.


    What's ironic is you are using the same phrasing to show the books aren't banned as I have posted to show all the books the left claims are banned when they aren't.
     
    Your article is based on what PEN America claims.

    “What we’re seeing here is a resurgence of widespread censorship in America,” Nadine Farid Johnson recently told The Wall Street Journal. Johnson is the Washington director of PEN America and co-author of its report claiming to identify 2,532 books banned in public schools during the 2021-2022 school year.

    PEN America advocates on behalf of poets, essayists, and novelists, and it shows: Its report is almost as fictional as the work of the writers it represents.

    It is simply false that 2,532 books were removed from schools during the 2021-2022 school year. We know this is false because we examined online card catalogues and found that 74% of the books PEN America identified as banned from school libraries are actually listed as available in the catalogues of those school districts. In many cases we could see that copies of those books are currently checked out and in use by students.

    Among the books that PEN America alleges were banned are classic works, such as “Anne Frank’s Diary,” “Brave New World,” “Lord of the Flies,” “Of Mice and Men,” “The Color Purple,” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.” In every school district in which PEN America alleges those books were banned, we found copies listed as available in the online card catalogue.

    For example, PEN America claims that “To Kill a Mockingbird” was “Banned in Libraries and Classrooms” in the Edmond public school district in Oklahoma. Edmond’s card catalogue indicates that the library has 10 copies of the book, two of which were checked out at the time we looked.

    PEN America suggests that racism is a major factor driving censorship. The organization reports that “659 banned book titles (40 percent) contain protagonists or prominent secondary characters of color” and “338 banned book titles (21 percent) directly address issues of race and racism.”

    The book “The Hate U Give,” which was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and primarily features black characters, is listed as one of the most frequently banned books, reportedly removed from more than a dozen public school libraries during 2021-2022.

    But when we examine the online card catalogues in those school districts, we find copies of “The Hate U Give” available in every one of them.

    For example, PEN America says that “The Hate U Give” was banned in Goddard Public Schools in Kansas, yet that district’s card catalogue lists nine copies of the book; three were checked out at the time we examined it. Similarly, the book was supposedly banned from the Indian River School District in Florida, but the card catalogue in that district shows 20 copies available, with several checked out.


    What's ironic is you are using the same phrasing to show the books aren't banned as I have posted to show all the books the left claims are banned when they aren't.

    First, that's not at all a response to my post. My post was specifically a response to your post about what Burbank School District did. Your post was a lie and I made that point clearly with the article I posted and the excerpt I quoted.

    Second, the article I posted, because it's from a news orginiztion that has credible reporting, didn't say that 2,532 books where removed from schools during the 2021-2022 school year. It says this:

    There were at least 2,532 book challenges from July 2021 to June 2022, affecting 1,648 book titles, according to a report by the free expression protection group PEN America.

    So again, another lie from your article you posted as a retort that had nothing to do with what I posted.
     
    First, that's not at all a response to my post. My post was specifically a response to your post about what Burbank School District did. Your post was a lie and I made that point clearly with the article I posted and the excerpt I quoted.

    Second, the article I posted, because it's from a news orginiztion that has credible reporting, didn't say that 2,532 books where removed from schools during the 2021-2022 school year. It says this:



    So again, another lie from your article you posted as a retort that had nothing to do with what I posted.
    Both the left and right are claiming some books have been banned when they haven't been, but you are only worried about what the right wingers have "banned."

    Do you not find it ironic that you are using the same defense about how the left didn't ban books that I've showed is what happened about the books the left claim that was banned?

    A challenge is when someone wants a book removed right? You are arguing semantics.

    And you got caught using PEN America who clearly lied about how many books have been banned.
     
    Both the left and right are claiming some books have been banned when they haven't been, but you are only worried about what the right wingers have "banned."

    You've pointed to 4 books removed from the required reading list, not banned. Are there any that were actually banned? Or are we just supposed to equate 4 book challenges in one school district to 1,648 book challenges?

    Do you not find it ironic that you are using the same defense about how the left didn't ban books that I've showed is what happened about the books the left claim that was banned?

    I haven't seen where you've shown that and I'm not going to go looking because your sources are tragically unreliable, as I've shown repeatedly in multiple threads. That's also not what I responded to originally, so I don't find any irony at all.

    A challenge is when someone wants a book removed right? You are arguing semantics.

    No, they're not. My arguments are straight foward.
    And you got caught using PEN America who clearly lied about how many books have been banned.

    Again, as I already pointed out, the reporting, article or PEN America didn't say what you keep claiming.
     
    Last edited:
    @SaintForLife, I ask you again, do you think that a parent or a minority group of parents should be able to ban books that promote understanding, empathy, acceptance, equity, and diversity?
     
    Your article is based on what PEN America claims.

    “What we’re seeing here is a resurgence of widespread censorship in America,” Nadine Farid Johnson recently told The Wall Street Journal. Johnson is the Washington director of PEN America and co-author of its report claiming to identify 2,532 books banned in public schools during the 2021-2022 school year.

    PEN America advocates on behalf of poets, essayists, and novelists, and it shows: Its report is almost as fictional as the work of the writers it represents.

    It is simply false that 2,532 books were removed from schools during the 2021-2022 school year. We know this is false because we examined online card catalogues and found that 74% of the books PEN America identified as banned from school libraries are actually listed as available in the catalogues of those school districts. In many cases we could see that copies of those books are currently checked out and in use by students.

    Among the books that PEN America alleges were banned are classic works, such as “Anne Frank’s Diary,” “Brave New World,” “Lord of the Flies,” “Of Mice and Men,” “The Color Purple,” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.” In every school district in which PEN America alleges those books were banned, we found copies listed as available in the online card catalogue.

    For example, PEN America claims that “To Kill a Mockingbird” was “Banned in Libraries and Classrooms” in the Edmond public school district in Oklahoma. Edmond’s card catalogue indicates that the library has 10 copies of the book, two of which were checked out at the time we looked.

    PEN America suggests that racism is a major factor driving censorship. The organization reports that “659 banned book titles (40 percent) contain protagonists or prominent secondary characters of color” and “338 banned book titles (21 percent) directly address issues of race and racism.”

    The book “The Hate U Give,” which was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and primarily features black characters, is listed as one of the most frequently banned books, reportedly removed from more than a dozen public school libraries during 2021-2022.

    But when we examine the online card catalogues in those school districts, we find copies of “The Hate U Give” available in every one of them.

    For example, PEN America says that “The Hate U Give” was banned in Goddard Public Schools in Kansas, yet that district’s card catalogue lists nine copies of the book; three were checked out at the time we examined it. Similarly, the book was supposedly banned from the Indian River School District in Florida, but the card catalogue in that district shows 20 copies available, with several checked out.


    What's ironic is you are using the same phrasing to show the books aren't banned as I have posted to show all the books the left claims are banned when they aren't.
    Are you quoting a WSJ article? You don’t source your quote. Please provide a link.

    In the bolded part - PEN supposedly says the book was banned from libraries and classrooms but whoever wrote this article only checked the library. We don’t even know if they are quoting PEN accurately, though, for one thing. It’s possible that books are banned from elementary school libraries and not from middle or high school libraries also, whoever is checking isn’t clear about which libraries were checked though.

    Oh, wait, I do see a link to The Daily Signal. Never mind, it’s a totally biased source. 🤦‍♀️
     
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    1690490741557.png
     
    And FL is going to use these Prager U videos, which make up quotes and attribute them to historical figures. Straight up propaganda.

     

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