Organized teams gas fast rise in U.S. book-banning, report says By Reuters

By Daniel Trotta

(Reuters) – Ebook bans accelerated throughout the US through the 2021-2022 faculty yr, largely by means of the efforts of organized teams that known as on public faculties to take away greater than 1,600 titles, the writers’ group PEN America mentioned on Monday.

There have been 2,532 cases of particular person e book bans affecting 1,648 titles at 5,000 faculties with 4 million college students, in line with the report. The analysis discovered 1,000 extra e book bans than had been documented within the group’s preliminary report launched in April.

PEN America mentioned the fast rise got here as a rising variety of teams have focused books coping with race or LGBTQ points. The report recognized no less than 50 teams lively in pushing for e book bans, the overwhelming majority of which have fashioned since 2021.

“This quickly accelerating motion has resulted in increasingly college students dropping entry to literature that equips them to satisfy the challenges and complexities of democratic citizenship,” mentioned Jonathan Friedman, lead creator of the report.

Whereas proponents of e book bans emphasize the significance of parental management, PEN America mentioned the motion has gone past the conventional give-and-take between mother and father and educators and morphed into a classy and well-resourced marketing campaign.

One group recognized by PEN America mobilized in opposition to a college district that taught about transgender identities, the report mentioned.

One other emphasizes the hazards of essential race idea, an esoteric discipline of research in legislation faculty or graduate faculty. Opponents have leveraged considerations over CRT to suppress works concerning the historical past of slavery, desegregation and the civil rights motion.

Greater than 40% of the banned titles handle lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, transgender and queer themes or have distinguished queer characters. Essentially the most regularly banned e book was “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe, which was banned by 41 faculty districts.

Race additionally drew the eye of censors, with 40% of the banned titles that includes distinguished character of colour. Essentially the most banned authors embrace the late Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, whose works largely cope with race, and different winners of prestigious literary awards.

Different banned books touched on sexual content material, rights and activism, or tales with non secular minorities.

Texas accounted for essentially the most bans, with 801 in 22 districts, adopted by Florida and Pennsylvania.

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