Nearly 1,600 books threatened with nationwide book bans – FOX13 News Memphis

WASHINGTON, DC — More and more states are challenging or banning certain books from schools and universities nationwide.

the American Library Association (ALA) says these books are usually about racial equity, have minorities as protagonists, or deal with LGBTQ+ issues.

Some members of congress examine how this state-level effort is impacting free speech in our schools.

Several high school students have told lawmakers that banned or challenged books silence minority views.

“I want to know more about my friends even if I don’t agree with them. I want us to understand each other, but right now my intellectual freedom and the intellectual freedoms of other students are not supported or defended,” said Shreya Mehta, a high school student from Richland, Washington.

They believe these books can help students address diversity and even reduce bullying.

“A slideshow presentation at the start of the school year telling kids to be nice isn’t enough,” said Christina Ellis, a high school student from York County, Pennsylvania. “These books can help educate children about diverse cultures and ways of life and we need to rely on our skilled educators to handle the teaching of these difficult and difficult subjects.”

the American Library Association recorded more than 700 challenges to remove nearly 1,600 books from public schools, libraries and universities last year.

The organization says this is the highest number of attempted book bans in the 20 years it has been tracking this information.

Some lawmakers say the book ban censors First Amendment protections in schools, but others think parents should have a say in what kind of books their children read.

Some panelists say a similar censorship problem occurs on college campuses with overly broad speech policies.

“Overly broad speech policies where fundamentally offensive speech is banned and if offensive speech is banned, there’s a lot of stuff you can’t talk about, basically anything that’s controversial in our social lives, so they use biased response teams to enforce this, allowing any member of the campus community to file a complaint,” said Dr. Jonathan Pidluzny of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni.

The American Library Association said its list is just a snapshot of banned books because more than 80% of book challenges go unreported or don’t make the headlines.

You can find a list of the 10 most difficult books here.

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