LGBTQ+ and POC books lead the reasons for most challenged and banned books
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - At Tuesday night’s Rapid City school board meeting, superintendent Nicole Swigart said more parents have been expressing concern about books, claiming some are graphic and not appropriate for students.
Every year, schools evaluate their book lists for their libraries, to decide which books might not be appropriate for students. According to the American library association, in 2022 a record was set, with objections filed on more than 25 hundred different books.
According to a study from the American library association, most of the challenged and banned books feature characters or authors who are LGBTQ+ or people of color. It says organized censorship groups share lists of books on social media, and target local libraries that have them.
“I think books have always been banned, it’s just been an ongoing problem, I mean think back to world war 2 and the burning of books. We don’t have a problem with parents saying this is what’s appropriate for my child, we have a problem with saying this is what’s appropriate to have in our libraries and our bookstores,” said Jodi Stanley, a manager at Books-A-Million.
According to The First Amendment Encyclopedia, “Book banning is a form of censorship that occurs when private individuals, government officials, or organizations remove books from libraries, school reading lists or bookstore shelves because they object to their content, ideas or themes.”
Stanley says it’s access to the books that are important, and people should want their kids reading so they can grow up to quote ‘love knowledge.’
“If that’s something you don’t want in your home that’s okay, but to take it out of libraries and book stores that’s what banned books mean, and we will always encourage the buying and selling of those books.” Stanley continued.
The proposed policy at Rapid City area schools is to stop any student from checking out a book that was complained about until a review of that book is completed.
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