Because of the holiday in the US this week—Friday after Thanksgiving might be the worst day to try to get attention, which is why so often you’ll see bad news dumps that day—I’m skipping on any in-depth introduction to this week’s censorship links. Over on my personal Substack, I recently wrote about a new website from the book banners about how they’re not banning books, if you are looking for a long read on censorship this week from me.
Let’s just dive right in.
- Marietta School District (GA) will not be reinstating Flamer. It is permanently banned.
- “The Alachua County school district [FL] removed another LGBTQ title from its libraries this week, despite issues about the complaint’s validity due to questions whether the woman who challenged the book was legally a resident of the county.” The book is Gender Queer.
- This is how newspapers should respond to book bans. This editorial board wrote about how inappropriate it is for Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial School District (MN) to simply remove books from shelves when they’ve been challenged and not reviewed.
- Fluvanna County High School (VA) received two dozen complaints over books by a failed school board candidate, and they’ll finally begin to be reviewed. It should be deeply concerning the books were removed from shelves before the process—and they’ve been off shelves for a month now.
- Chino Valley Unified School Board (CA) passed a policy that will make it easier to ban books in the district.
- Hernando County School Board (FL) removed three books from the school district at their last meeting: 13 Reasons Why, The Handmaid’s Tale, and This Day in June.
- After months of wasting countless hours, energy, and taxpayer dollars to remove books from shelves, the controversial book policy at Hamilton East Public Library (IN) is over.
- “More than 11,000 Pulaski County students (AR) are unable to access online educational materials through their local public library as a legal precaution, according to school district administrators, in light of the statewide debate over what content children should be able to access in libraries.” That’s 11,000 students who’ve just lost access to materials for education, enrichment, and enjoyment. Why? Politics.
- Here’s what happened after a branch of the Yancey County Public Library (NC) put up a Pride display for June.
- “The Northern Justice Project and the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska filed a lawsuit on Friday against the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District for the removal of 56 books from school libraries.” Lawsuits and legislation are the only way this is going to end.
- A Menomonee Falls School Board member (WI) does not believe the district followed their own policy in banning 33 books. She wants them back on shelves.
- Kirk Cameron’s new book fair is coming to Spotsylvania School District (VA).
- Coming soon: the county leadership deciding what books are available to the entire community in a public library. “New restrictions could be coming to the Rutherford County Library system [TN]. County officials are looking to pass stricter rules on funds provided to their local libraries, along with an age-restrictive checkout policy. The new policy debate comes as the county and city of Murfreesboro have been embroiled controversy and legal wrangling over what constitutes community decency.”
- An update on Wentzville Public Schools and Francis Howell in Missouri—turns out that when the conservative majority doesn’t keep the majority, turning over to fascism and bigotry is a much slower process.
- Heartstopper is being challenged in Ocean City, New Jersey, schools because it was available to buy at the school book fair.
- (Paywalled) Conroe Independent School District (TX) is making it even easier to ban books.
- Moms For Liberty brought in over $2.1 million dollars last year.
- Garfield County Public Library (CO) refuses to ban books that the county commissioners don’t like, so the county commissioners seem to be hinting that there will be consequences for it. That’s called fascism.
- “One more dramatic change the board is considering making to the policy is changing some language to allow the library network to evaluate books “in part” rather than in their entirety. ” That is indeed against the standard set by the Supreme Court’s Miller Test. Not to mention, it makes clear that the parts are more important than the whole, which, time and time again, has been proven to be why books are KEPT on shelves—it’s like looking at the whole thing serves a purpose that just cherry-picking passages does not. But this public library is creating a whole new policy over “inappropriate” materials and access to materials to minors—what that means is also under debate. This is at an Idaho public library.
- This is a great story from a Catholic outlet on the impact of far-right Catholic book banners on the image of their faith and practice. Note how few of the “Catholic activists” did not respond for comment.
- Oklahoma Moms For Liberty complained that a section of math textbooks being approved by the state removed what they claim to be “social-emotional learning.” You are reading this in 2023.
- Here are the 75 books banned by Hanover County Public Schools (VA). It’s paywalled, of course, but I broke it for you.
- The Perks of Being A Wallflower will remain on shelves in Maryville High School (TN), even after the initial decision to keep it in the library was appealed.
- “The public library in St. Marys [KS] has managed to hang onto its lease for one more year by removing all of the youth-oriented LGBTQ books from library shelves.” This story is infuriating and heartbreaking. I’m not happy that the compromise that the public library director had to make here in order to get the lease on the library renewed was getting rid of every LGBTQ+ book in the youth section and most of them in the adult section, and when you read the story, you’ll know she isn’t either. It’s a small religious group doing the work here of bigotry.
- Assassination Classroom is the manga of ire for one parent in Billings, Montana, because there are no original thoughts with the book banners. Imagine if this kind of anger were present for, like, actual guns being used to kill students in schools.
- Earlier this year, in response to the Liberty Lakes Public Library (WA) refusing to ban Gender Queer, there was an attempt for the city trustees to take over the library. Following the election earlier this month, there was a little turnover on the city trustee board…and thanks to a quirk in the state law, this issue might arise again after being defeated.
- Former Arkansas Senator Jason Rapert, who is friendly with folks like the Duggars, is now on the Arkansas state library board.
- Members of the right-wing group “Save My America”—let me reemphasize here that cheering on only the failures of Moms For Liberty is but a small slice of the groups doing this book banning—are fighting to get the book Making A Baby removed from the children’s area of the Pickaway County Public Library (OH).
- Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools’s (NC) superintendent is overriding the committee’s decision to keep Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts) in district libraries and is instead banning it.
- “An internal review committee has determined that the controversial book “Bang Like a Porn Star: Sex Tips From the Pros,” should be removed from the St. Charles City-County Library system (MO)—just not right away.” It won’t be banned until the 20 people waiting to borrow it from the PUBLIC library are finished with it. This book is/was in the adult nonfiction section.
- In Catawba County Schools (NC), both Lolita and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close will remain in the school library, but students will need Mommy or Daddy’s permission to borrow either one. Meanwhile, they can sign up with the military recruiters at lunchtime without that permission…
- A group of right-wing christofascists in Pasco County, Florida, are demanding the local school sever ties with the American Library Association. Their nonsense includes the line that affiliation goes against their Christian beliefs, which is wild, given that little thing about the separation of church and state.
- Lake Luzerne Public Library (NY) has been closed since September when the staff quit over harassment for, you know, inclusive programming. Three board members have left, too, and this week, there was a physical altercation at the board meeting. I do not think it’s the Drag Queens who are the problem.
- PEN America joins 16 other organizations who have filed an amicus brief over the Texas READER Act, which will once again be tried later this month.
Also In This Story Stream
Where Are The Book Sanctuaries?: Book Censorship News: November 17, 2023
My Book Was Banned Again — This Time In Retaliation for My Anti-Censorship Work: Book Censorship News, November 10, 2023
Most People Don’t Know How Librarians Select Collection Materials, So What Do They Think of Book Bans?: Book Censorship News, November 3, 2023
Ending Censorship Applies to Prison, Too: A Prison Banned Book Week News Roundup, 2023
They May Not Be The Most Targeted, But They’re Still Banned: Book Censorship News, October 27, 2023
Are Gatekeepers Giving Up The Fight Against Book Bans?: Book Censorship News, October 20, 2023
What Else Do Parents Who Believe Librarians Should Be Prosecuted for Library Materials Think?: Book Censorship News, October 13, 2023
74% of Parents Think Book Bans Infringe on Their Parental Rights: Book Censorship News, September 29, 2023
Student Groups Against Book Bans: Book Censorship News, September 22, 2023