When Review Boards are Required to Read Books, They are Not Banned
Without the requirement for reading books before banning them, book banners are given the opportunity to manipulate sections and pieces that suit their agenda as an excuse to ban it.
When review boards, school administrators, and librarians read books, they are less likely to ban them.
This is why many book banning groups are pushing for legislation to eliminate the requirement that review boards read the books. Without the requirement for reading books before banning them, book banners are given the opportunity to manipulate sections and pieces that suit their agenda as an excuse to ban it. These individuals want to destroy public education under the guise of protecting your children while removing your parental right to decide what’s best for you and your family.
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This suggests a significant level of dishonesty and extremism from the activist book banning groups when introducing book bans. Hypocritically, they suggest that a book should be banned based on one sentence or paragraph instead of reading the book as a whole. In fact, if they took the time to read the entire book, they might change their mind and decide that it should not be banned.
For example, after parents at a New Hampshire high school complained about the graphic novel Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe, the school’s principal decided to read the book to ensure that the material was appropriate for students. Upon reading the book, he discovered that the rhetoric around the book was largely false and manipulative and was comfortable with keeping it in their library.
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In another book banning attempt at a school district, some parents quoted passages from books like Gender Queer, Lawn Boy, and Out of Darkness wildly out of context. However, according to one school board member Sarah Smylie, “If you read the book and take it as a whole, it describes the author’s genuine struggle with gender identity and sexual orientation while growing up.” Yet these parents refused to read the books in their entirety because they know that to do so would recognize the book’s positive impact on students.
When your students cannot read formative books by authors who share their struggles, they are forced into a less democratic system, one that censors their every move and dictates what they can and cannot do. We cannot let that happen to our children.
We need people like you to help fight back. Please join the National Campaign Against Book Bans at Fight for the First!