Across the country, teachers are struggling with book bans. There’s the principle of the whole thing, but also the practical issues of the workload involved when classroom libraries are being scrupulously censored. Teachers on TikTok and Facebook are showing how these restrictions impact them and pleading for common decency.
But it can be hard in our current climate to advocate for what’s right without getting a target put on your back. With so many districts limiting the free speech of teachers with non-disparagement clauses or other restrictions on what they can and can’t say, it’s difficult to know how we can fight back without losing our jobs.
Recently on Reddit, a teacher reached out asking for support in dealing with parents calling for a mass ban of 80 books from their library:
Homophobic parents calling for book bans at school board meetings from Teachers
Here’s what teachers and librarians had to say.
Make book-banning parents do the legwork.
Find other ways to get books in hands.
Cite settled Supreme Court law.
Flip the script on what freedom/patriotism really means.
Some libraries are eliminating checkout records for banned books.
Additional resources to fight book banning:
Hopefully these suggestions can serve as a starting point for you, your librarian, your school, or even your district’s legal team. It’s critical that we understand how to protect our students’ right to literature at a time when that right is being challenged.
Thanks to OP for bringing up this important question!
Do you have other suggestions for handling book bans? Let us know in the comments!
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