Banning books in schools (3 Viewers)

Users who are viewing this thread

    Optimus Prime

    Well-known member
    Joined
    Sep 28, 2019
    Messages
    9,360
    Reaction score
    11,307
    Age
    47
    Location
    Washington DC Metro
    Offline
    Excellent article I thought deserved its own thread
    =========================

    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.

     
    Last edited:
    oh fun times ahead

    Teaching AI's to censor what we read and keep us ignorant. What could possibly go wrong?
     
    Do you all consider age appropriate designations the same as 'banning' or do you all just use the 'banning' for the raw emotional appeal?
    Do you consider the fact that the local cinema can't show XXX movies to minors also a ban on movies?
    Just trying to understand if it is real or just political theatre as I assume it is.
     
    When Wes Brown sought out children’s books for his two young sons, he made sure to seek titles that reflected the family he and his husband were building.

    He found that in one called “The Family Book,” a 2003 picture book by Todd Parr. It depicts families of all kinds: the traditional nuclear family, but also families with one parent or step-parents, as well as adoptive families and same-sex parents like Brown and his husband.

    But across the country, books and lessons that represent different families and identities are increasingly the target of conservative pushback — even when they’re for the youngest of learners. Parr’s book for preschoolers and early readers is often among those challenged by parents and activists.

    “It is important my kids are definitely exposed to that,” Brown said. “What these parents are really doing is demonstrating how fragile their worldview is, that a children’s book is enough to shatter it.”

    Efforts to ban books have been surging at school and public libraries. Of the bans targeting picture books, about three-quarters are books that address LGBTQ+ themes and roughly half are stories that mention race, said Kasey Meehan, Freedom to Read program director at PEN America.

    “There’s legislation out there that could lead to felony offenses and criminalization, (teacher) decertification,” Meehan said. “When you see this threatening environment, more and more we see educators responding in an overly cautious approach, and that shows up in how they think about their classroom libraries.”

    Objections to the titles often involve arguments that they are not age-appropriate. In some of the many challenges Parr’s book has faced over the years, opponents have taken issue with a line that reads, “Some families have two moms or two dads,” saying it was not suitable for young children.……

     
    Last edited:
    A far-right member of the school board in a Texas town, who has been on a crusade to ban books, was censured on Wednesday night for allegedly lying to gain access to a high school library.

    The 5-2 vote to reprimand Karen Lowery came after dozens of residents of Granbury—evenly divided between those who were appalled by her actions and those who defended her—spoke about what’s being called Librarygate.

    Lowery also spoke, insisting she did not lie about where she was going when she showed up at the school, did not turn out the lights so she could skulk around in the dark, and did not falsely claim she had permission.

    Lowery is a first-term board member elected in November after pledging to rid the schools of books with sexual content that she and fellow ultra-conservatives deem objectionable.

    A report commissioned by board President Barbara Herrington and made public before Wednesday night’s meeting found that Lowery violated school policy by ignoring visiting procedures when she arrived at the high school on Aug. 2. She was further accused of lying while gaining entry to the school and when she was discovered in the library.

    “I have never seen such a blatant breach of ethics in public schools,” Herrington said in a post-incident email to Lowery with the subject line: “Results of Investigation of Your UNauthorized Presence in Library.”

    During a board meeting on Monday night, Lowery suggested her self-appointed mission was not just to find sexual content.

    “Because I was in the library, books are still being found and that are inappropriate, on the edge,” she said. “Teen drinking, gang violence, homeless man kicked to the ground, gasoline poured on him, set on fire, foul language drive by shootings, attempted murder of the witness of the killing of the homeless man, teen depression, drug use.”

    She was saying that “on the edge” should be off the shelf, which would take the book-banning movement to new lows.

    “No, it's not pornographic, but these are totally uneducational and unacceptable books,” she said. “And there’s more.”.

    Lowery was a private citizen when she became a darling of Hood County’s extreme right by filing a criminal complaint in May of last year —that the investigation is still ongoing—alleging the high school was illegally harboring obscene books. She then made the supposed pornography the focus of a successful campaign for the school board. After being She was elected in November, she and continued to raise the specter of smut sullying the shelves even though a committee found none through an exhaustive review.

    As The Daily Beast previously reported, Lowery arrived with another woman at Granbury High School at 8 a.m. on Aug. 2 and allegedly told a clerk that they were going to an event for underprivileged in the cafeteria. A passing assistant principal discovered the two in the darkened library an hour and a half later, appearing to examine books with cellphone lights..............

     
    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — After parents in a rural and staunchly conservative Wyoming county joined nationwide pressure on librarians to pull books they considered harmful to youngsters, the local library board obliged with new policies making such books a higher priority for removal — and keeping out of collections.

    But that’s not all the library board has done.

    Campbell County also withdrew from the American Library Association, in what’s become a movement against the professional organization that has fought against book bans.

    This summer, the state libraries in Montana, Missouri and Texas and the local library in Midland, Texas, announced they’re leaving the ALA, with possibly more to come. Right-wing lawmakers in at least nine other states — Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wyoming — demand similar action.

    Part of the reason is the association’s defense of disputed books, many of which have LGBTQ+ and racial themes. A tweet by ALA President Emily Drabinski last year in which she called herself a “Marxist lesbian” also has drawn criticism and led to the Montana and Texas state library departures.



    “This is the problem with the American Library Association, it has changed from an organization that helped communities and used common sense into one that just promotes a view,” said Dan Kleinman, a blogger and longtime ALA critic.

    Widely disputed books over the past couple years include Maia Kobabe’s graphic memoir “Gender Queer,” Juno Dawson’s “This Book Is Gay,” and Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye,” the ALA points out.

    In northeastern Wyoming’s Campbell County, a coal-mining area where former President Donald Trump got 87% of the vote in 2020, library board meetings have been packed and often heated for over two years now.

    After a local outcry over a drag queen story hour and an unsuccessful attempt to prosecute library officials over books in the library’s children’s section, a library board with several new members appointed by the County Commission withdrew from the ALA last year.


    “We were the first library in nation to do this. And now it has progressed to something to something I couldn’t even have imagined,” library board member Charles Butler said. “And all we were ever worried about was the sexualization of children.”…..

     
    Do you all consider age appropriate designations the same as 'banning' or do you all just use the 'banning' for the raw emotional appeal?
    Do you consider the fact that the local cinema can't show XXX movies to minors also a ban on movies?
    Just trying to understand if it is real or just political theatre as I assume it is.
    Well, we generally don’t consider anything you say as being useful. As for emotional appeal? Republicans have cornered the market on that.

    But perhaps you don’t understand that librarians as well as teachers actually understand “age appropriateness” and you simply prefer to bleat out emotional responses.
     
    My wife is still fighting the good fight. She is at the school board meeting every week speaking out against this (and other) culture war insanity.

    They banned Wacky Wednesday by Dr. Seuss. Next week my wife is going to go to the school board meeting and read the book to them like they are kindergartners. Those types get really offended when you address them at their intellectual maturity level.
     
    My wife is still fighting the good fight. She is at the school board meeting every week speaking out against this (and other) culture war insanity.

    They banned Wacky Wednesday by Dr. Seuss. Next week my wife is going to go to the school board meeting and read the book to them like they are kindergartners. Those types get really offended when you address them at their intellectual maturity level.
    Good for her!
     
    My wife is still fighting the good fight. She is at the school board meeting every week speaking out against this (and other) culture war insanity.

    They banned Wacky Wednesday by Dr. Seuss. Next week my wife is going to go to the school board meeting and read the book to them like they are kindergartners. Those types get really offended when you address them at their intellectual maturity level.
    plus they dont actually read the books they want banned they just go by some other idiots word.
     
    My wife is still fighting the good fight. She is at the school board meeting every week speaking out against this (and other) culture war insanity.

    They banned Wacky Wednesday by Dr. Seuss. Next week my wife is going to go to the school board meeting and read the book to them like they are kindergartners. Those types get really offended when you address them at their intellectual maturity level.
    What’s the complaint on wacky Wednesday?
     
    What’s the complaint on wacky Wednesday?
    There's a picture in It of a girls butt in the shower. Clearly no child should ever be able to see this. They just passed some pretty terrible rules directed toward gay and trans students in Katy is as well. They also removed from the school board charter the portion of the social contract that said they had to make decisions based on truth. My wife has formed a PAC and is getting financial support from some big organizations including the NAACP to fight the facist radicalization of the school board here.

    This is the section they struck out and the offending picture.
     

    Attachments

    • IMG_0652.jpeg
      IMG_0652.jpeg
      92.5 KB · Views: 96
    • IMG_0651.jpeg
      IMG_0651.jpeg
      584.3 KB · Views: 95
    Last edited:
    There's a picture in It of a girls butt in the shower. Clearly no child should ever be able to see this. They just passed some pretty terrible rules directed toward gay and trans students in Katy is as well. They also removed from the school board charter the portion of the social contract that said they had to make decisions based on truth. My wife has formed a PAC and is getting financial support from some big organizations including the NAACP to fight the facist radicalization of the school board here.

    This is the section they struck out and the offending picture.
    Geez, people can be idiots.
     
    There's a picture in It of a girls butt in the shower. Clearly no child should ever be able to see this. They just passed some pretty terrible rules directed toward gay and trans students in Katy is as well. They also removed from the school board charter the portion of the social contract that said they had to make decisions based on truth. My wife has formed a PAC and is getting financial support from some big organizations including the NAACP to fight the facist radicalization of the school board here.

    This is the section they struck out and the offending picture.

    I'd say striking down a provision that says there must be a valid reason to make any changes is a pretty big red flag
     
    I often wonder about the american fixation on human bodies. It is creating far more harm and taboos than just treating it as something natural. Here people change clothes on the beach without even thinking about it - Men, women children. Not that they run around naked but they will take off change clothes and put on/off a bathing suit as something completely normal without anyone thinking or actually looking because of it. There is nothing sexual about it. Bookwise - kids learn biology and reproduction systems from drawing in 4th grade. Again pure biology, Sex ed takes place in 7th/8th grade and teaches how to avoid getting pregnant or getting sick. Sexual minimum age is 15
     
    Last edited:
    I often wonder about the american fixation on human bodies. It is creating far more harm and taboos than just treating it as something natural. Here people change clothes on the beach without even thinking about it - Men, women children. Not that they run around naked but they will take off change clothes and put on/off a bathing suit as something completely normal without anyone thinking or actually looking because of it. There is nothing sexual about it. Bookwise - kids learn biology and reproduction systems from drawing in 4th grade. Again pure biology, Sex ed takes place in 7th/8th grade and teaches how to avoid getting pregnant or getting sick. Sexual minimum age is 15

    It has very little to do with actually protecting children and much more to do with American's (especially christians and politicians) puritanical obsession with moralizing to others and dictating how they must live their lives.
     

    Create an account or login to comment

    You must be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create account

    Create an account on our community. It's easy!

    Log in

    Already have an account? Log in here.

    Advertisement

    General News Feed

    Fact Checkers News Feed

    Sponsored

    Back
    Top Bottom