Book Banning Key Issue in School Board Races; Michigan Judge Dismisses Lawsuit to Remove 14 Books from School | Censorship News

In Connecticut towns, book banning has become a key issue for school board candidates; a Michigan judge ruled 14 titles had literary merit and dismissed a lawsuit to remove them from a district's library; and as one South Carolina district retains five challenged titles, another removes an LGBTQIA+ history book and restricts other books.

Book Banning is Key Issue in Some Connecticut School Board Races | News Times
In communities like Newtown and Brookfield, CT, where school boards voted last year to keep challenged books on the shelves, candidates on both sides of the issue have made book banning a key issue in their platform.

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against Michigan School District Over ‘Explicit’ Books in Library | MLive
A judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Rockford Public Schools that sought to ban 14 “sexually explicit” books from the school district’s library. Kent County Judge George J. Quist granted a motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed by a group called “Parents and Taxpayers Against Pornography in Rockford Public Schools,” ruling that while he agreed with the plaintiff’s concerns about the sexually explicit nature of some of the texts and illustrations in the books, they do not qualify as being “harmful to minors” because the books as a whole have literary value.

South Carolina District Retains Five Books While Others Remain Under Review | ABC 4 News
A committee working with the Berkeley County (SC) School District (BCSD) has reviewed the content of 20 books, and five novels will remain in the district's high school libraries, including  A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah Maas, Burned by Ellen Hopkins, and The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. The review came after a BCSD parent submitted a list of nearly 100 books she believes should be removed from school libraries.

'Boy Toy' Targeted for Removal at New Hampshire High School | Foster’s Daily Democrat
Dover (NH) School Board members will vote on whether to remove Barry Lyga’s 2007 book Boy Toy from the Dover High School library after a resident’s bid to have it taken off the shelves. The book is not required reading for students and has been offered in the Dover High School library since 2008.

Author of Banned Book 'Flamer' Pens Letter to Georgia High School Students | MDJonline
Mike Curato, the author of Flamer, a graphic novel that has been banned from libraries in Marietta City (GA) Schools and the Cobb County (GA) School District, has written an open letter to Marietta High School students. The letter, shared with MDJ, says, “They can ban my book, but no one has the right to ban YOU.”

State Library Service Pulls Out of ALA Under Pressure from State Government | Alabama Political Reporter
Alabama Public Library service director Nancy Pack has ended the state agency’s membership in the American Library Association.

Banned Books Tour Stops in Austin to Educate and Spread Awareness about Censorship | KUT 90.5
Members of the African American Policy Forum, a social justice think tank, stopped at Reverie Books in Austin as part of a Banned Books Tour with the progressive magazine The New Republic. The two groups have been visiting bookstores and libraries in an effort to educate communities about book bans. Along with handing out books, organizers spoke with people about book-banning legislation and how to combat censorship in their own communities.

South Carolina School District Bans LGBTQ History Book; Limits Access to Titles by Morrison, Coates | Post and Courier
Horry County (SC) Schools recently banned Gay & Lesbian History for Kids by Jerome Pohlen. The district has also restricted access to titles by Toni Morrison and Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Banned Books Often Get Circulation Bump, New Study Finds | Axios
A new study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and George Mason University found that the dissemination of banned books increased. Banning a book in one state led to increases in circulation of that book in states that did not ban it, per the report. By the numbers: Circulations of banned books increased 12% on average compared to similar non-banned titles, the study found.

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