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Category Archives: Censorship

I’m a teacher in Florida. Here’s what the DeSantis book bans look like in my classroom

The Guardian: “A new crackdown on books in Florida schools has had a chilling effect in classrooms. “I’m done! I’m done! What do I do now?” Every teacher, in every classroom, hears this many (thousands) of times daily from their students. In my classroom, for more than a decade, the answer has always been “Get a book and read.” That is until last week when I was told to pack up my classroom library until further notice. The state of Florida, where I teach, has passed vague laws on what books teachers can and cannot have in their classrooms. The next day my first group of students entered and immediately asked, ‘Where are all of our books Mrs. Phillips?’ Our books. Not mine, but theirs. House Bill 1467, signed by Governor DeSantis in March of last year, basically states that schools must be transparent in their selection of instructional, library, and reading materials. Meaning that parents have the right to know what their students are reading and a means to view those materials. All materials must be free of pornography, gender identity issues (for students in Kindergarten through third grade), as well as any books relating to discrimination based on race, color, sex, or national origin. The books must also be approved by a certificated media specialist. On the surface, this seems reasonable, but it goes much deeper. The bill does not name specific books to ban, nor a system in which to vet the books. It does, however, come with a fear-mongering threat of a class three felony, which could cause a teacher to lose not only their teaching certificate, but their right to vote as well…”

Hide your books to avoid felony charges, Fla. schools tell teachers

Washington Post – Unsure what titles violate new state rules, two school districts tell educators to conceal every book for now..Students arrived in some Florida public school classrooms this month to find their teachers’ bookshelves wrapped in paper — or entirely barren of books — after district officials launched a review of the texts’ appropriateness… Continue Reading

2022 Corruption Perceptions Index reveals scant progress against corruption as world becomes more violent

Berlin, 31 January 2023: “The 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released today by Transparency International shows that most of the world continues to fail to fight corruption: 95 per cent of countries have made little to no progress since 2017. According to the Global Peace Index, the world continues to become a less peaceful place.… Continue Reading

Books Unbanned

“Brooklyn Public Library is adding our voice to those fighting for the rights of teens nationwide to read what they like, discover themselves, and form their own opinions. Inspired by the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read Statement, BPL’s Books Unbanned initiative is a response to an increasingly coordinated and effective effort to remove books tackling… Continue Reading

Students want new books. Thanks to restrictions, librarians can’t buy them.

Washington Post: Schools are struggling to keep their shelves stocked as oversight by parents and school boards intensifies – “States and districts nationwide have begun to constrain what librarians can order. At least 10 states have passed laws giving parents more power over which books appear in libraries or limiting students’ access to books, a… Continue Reading

Opposing Attempts to Criminalize Librarianship through State Obscenity Laws

EveryLibrary Institute: “In 2023-2024, we anticipate that many legislators whose bills failed the last session will reintroduce language in this session and anti-access activists will be inspired to sponsor their own regressive initiatives. The EverLibrary Institute is releasing a new Policy Brief “Opposing Attempts to Criminalize Libraries and Education Through State Obscenity Laws” to help… Continue Reading

Are book bans discrimination?

Washington Post – Biden administration to test new legal theory: “The federal government has opened an investigation into a Texas school district over its alleged removal of books featuring LGBTQ characters — marking the first test of a new legal argument that failing to represent students in school books can constitute discrimination. The Education Department’s… Continue Reading

Unbanning Books: LJ’s 2023 Librarians of the Year

Library Journal: “Brooklyn Public Library’s Nick Higgins, Amy Mikel, Karen Keys, Jackson Gomes, and Leigh Hurwitz have been named LJ’s 2023 Librarians of the Year for their work on Books Unbanned, providing free ebook access to teens and young adults nationwide to help defy rising book challenges across the country. In 2022 Brooklyn Public Library’s Books Unbanned Team began… Continue Reading

Courts Find That Twitter Can Restrict More Than Just Your Character Count

ABA:  “The 21st century court system has seen a surge of internet-related cases as websites and social media platforms continue to connect more individuals around the globe. While only 5 percent of adults in the United States reported using social media in 2005, the number has now skyrocketed to more than 70 percent. Today, people… Continue Reading

America’s culture warriors are going after librarians

.coda: “…It’s a tale playing out in cities and states across the country, as a book-banning fever courses through the country’s body politic. Nationally, attempts to remove books from school and public libraries are shattering previous records. The effort is being driven by a loose collection of local and national conservative parents’ groups and politicians… Continue Reading