Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Experts Condemn “Anti-Woke” BookBan Agenda, Claim It’s Negatively Affecting Students

Experts Condemn “Anti-Woke” BookBan Agenda, Claim It’s Negatively Affecting Students
Source: Pinterest

Experts Condemn “Anti-Woke” BookBan Agenda, Claim It’s Negatively Affecting Students

Source: Yamasztuka/Wikimedia Commons

Some “anti-woke” politicians are passing legislation deciding what and what not to read for young minds. However, this may affect the students’ ability to evolve into critical thinkers. 

 Some of the book categories falling victim are racism, abuse, LGBTQ+ identity, and violence. However, these legislations may throw out the baby with the bath water. Biology texts with illustrations of naked body parts for reproductive education are being ruled as inappropriate for certain ages.

The Galloping Horse of Book Bans

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In 2023 alone, various conservative entities floated about 3,400 cases of book bans, which resulted in the banning of some 2,530 books. This figure is higher than the precedence of book bans in 2021 and 2022. 

Pen America, a free speech organization, made this book ban data available. According to PEN America’s assessment, removing books from classrooms or library shelves or limiting access to them pending an appropriateness challenge constitutes a ban.

Stats Showing the Unprecedented Climb  

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So, the total number of permanently banned books across US schools in 2023 alone may be less than figures earlier ascribed to PEN America. Nonetheless, the figure shows a significant increase compared to book bans in 2022. 

According to Kasey Meehan, the lead author of the PEN America report, no one knows when the book ban figures will plateau, as they keep rising with the turn of a new year.

Book Bans: Citizens vs. Legislative

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In a recent joint poll run by Ipsos polling and NPR, it was discovered that most parents and other Americans do not support the serial book bans. 

The poll results indicate that 64% of American parents do not agree with school boards’ efforts to ban books. Likewise, 69% of these same parents oppose legislation by lawmakers seeking to stifle their kids from educational materials. The BookBan battle is raging on those two fronts against US schools.

Florida Leads the Way  

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However, teachers, and to a greater extent, librarians, are the recipients of these mounting book ban figures. States with pro-conservative legislation are at the top of the BookBan spectrum. 

 For example, in the past few years, a state like Florida has passed bills that make it the most notorious with book bans. In the last school year alone, Florida had about 1,400 instances of book bans.

High Achievers on the Book Ban Spectrum

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previous school year, Florida came in first with 40% of all book bans across the US. 

Texas has the second-highest number of book bans, with 625 cases. Missouri, Utah, and Pennsylvania are third, fourth, and fifth, with varying numbers of book-ban cases, respectively.

Why Book Bans May Deny Kids the Ability to Develop Critical Thinking

Source: Albert Herring/Wikimedia Commons

Meehan is raising concerns about the ever-rising number of book ban cases. From the standpoint of PEN America, hardly any form of strongly opinionated or pro-diversity book will remain on any library shelf if the country continues with this momentum. 

During a recent statement, Mehan said: “We keep wondering if we’ve reached the peak yet, and all signals suggest that there’s still growing momentum, and it really is against kind of public opinion.”

Book Ban Agitators Can Explain  

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The question of the rise in book ban cases did not surprise pro-bookban agitators. These agitators suggest that the increase in book bans corresponds to the recent number of inappropriate publications on school shelves. 

For example, a Moms for Liberty member in Florida said of the bans, “Once you show people what’s in their kids’ schools, their mouths drop … and they feel compelled to do something.”

Hounding the Next Targets

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Unfortunately, some states are not limiting their bans to bookshelves in classrooms and libraries. Some are now indicting publishers and distributors, shifting the battle line. 

For example, lawmakers in Tennesee are considering a bill that would criminalize the provision of publications with obscene content to public schools. Of course, no one is likely to go to jail, but publishers and distributors may face huge fines if found guilty.