DETROIT (Michigan News Source) – In the wake of a recent school board’s decision to remove student access to numerous books via online library, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sent a letter to the Michigan Public Schools encouraging action.
The letter voices the ACLU’s concern for public schools in light of “current efforts to ban books” and the group’s advice to resist such banning. You can view the letter provided by the Detroit Free Press.
“We urge you to affirm your commitment to public education, the First Amendment, and the welfare of all students in your community by resisting and speaking out against these harmful and misguided efforts—and, if books have been banned in your district, restoring students’ access to all materials in your collection as soon as possible,” the letter said.
The group mentioned that book bans have been directed particularly at the LGBTQ+ community and denies students access to important literature regarding “human sexuality, racism, and other topics that students have the right to learn about in an educational setting.”
The letter outlines several court cases pertaining to book banning, but highlights that of the Board of Education v. Pico in which several books were removed from libraries due to “objectionable” books. It also stated that the school board “cherry-picked excerpts” from the books that contained “vulgar or sexually explicit language.”
The ACLU’s leadership concluded the letter by encouraging school boards to oppose further censorship and to support students and democracy.
“We urge you to resist any attempts to remove books from your school libraries— and, if books have been banned in your district, to restore students’ access to all censored materials as soon as possible,” it said.
Michigan’s State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice and the President of the State Board of Education Dr. Cassandra Ulbrich were copied on the letter.
Roughly a thousand parents and concerned community members gathered in support and in opposition to the books that the Dearborn School Board opted to revoke student access to in October.
While Dearborn parents were successful in wiping “This Book Is Gay” from the online database, other states have not been as successful. On Sept. 19, in honor of banned book week, a school within the Newburyport Public School District in Newburyport, Massachusetts had a picture of its display from the @libsoftiktok twitter account. The tweet features an image of the cover of the book, as well as a screenshot of its interior.
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) September 19, 2022
The inside of the book in one chapter conveys to readers how to use sex apps.
- Upload a tiny pic of yourself to the app.
- The app works out your location.
- The app tells you who the nearest homosexuals are.
- You then chat to them.
- Because they are near, it is easy to meet up with them.
The book contained a multitude of other sexually explicit content in the name of education, but drew criticisms from many parents.