What’s happening? An inquiry into which books school districts have purchased for their K-12 libraries showed that in 2022, numerous libraries added books covering race theory, white supremacy, and gender ideology.
The books in question: One of the books purchased by many libraries is Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe, a controversial book on gender identity that has been banned in many districts and libraries for its sexual imagery. Other added books include A Kids Book About Systemic Racism, Me and White Supremacy: A Guided Journal, and a book for kindergartners about a teddy bear that “wishes he were a girl, not a boy teddy.” Upward News has tracked the radical books appearing in schools throughout the country.
The legal battle: Florida leads the country in its legal battle for parental rights in education: Parents are allowed to request the removal of books, and new proposed legislation would remove books immediately after an objection is submitted. States like Michigan and Indiana have introduced legislation restricting children’s access to books with obscene materials. Last week, the U.S. House passed the Parents Bill of Rights Act that requires schools to give parents a list of the books in school libraries—but it isn’t expected to pass the Senate. No Democrats voted for the bill.
Big picture: Last year, many controversial books were removed from school and public libraries in conservative states, prompting backlash from progressives. Conservatives argue children should be shielded from inappropriate material, Democrats argue removing books from libraries violates free speech rights, and progressive activists view it as an attack on the LGBT community. Regardless, most Americans agree that politics shouldn’t be discussed in the classroom.