Last week I reported on efforts to ban SPEAK in CA, and TWISTED in KY and PA. Thankfully, all of the attempts to remove the books were defeated.
This week, things are worse.
Teachers at Montgomery High School in Mt. Sterling, KY have been banned from wearing Banned Books Week tee-shirts that feature a quote from To Kill A Mockingbird. 6pm update: after a meeting today that included an Educational Association representative (which I think means union) at the table, the tee-shirt ban was lifted.
The rationale for the ban was that wearing the shirts constituted political activity.
God, I wish I was making this up. But I am not. I will post a link to news coverage of this horrifying nightmare as soon as it is available.
Other book banning notes:
John Green blogged about parent demands in Leesburg, FL, that tighter restrictions be put on 40 books in the public library, included LOOKING FOR ALASKA. Be sure to watch the replay of John’s vlog, "I Am Not A Pornographer." Genius.
Lee Wind has an EXCELLENT roundtable discussion with Ellen Hopkins, E. Lockhart, Jo Knowles, Jacqui Robbins, Sarah Brannan, and Frank Portman about challenges to their books. Read Part 1 now!
What can we do to protect books and readers and teachers and librarians?
If you live in Central New York, you can go to the Onondaga County Public Library at 5:30-7:30pm tonight to listen to Sonya Sones talk about her experience with book banning.
Read this wonderful interview with Chris Crutcher. Heed his advice about how to deal with censorship: "Never be intimidated. The loud voices for censorship actually represent a very small number of people. Judge yourself by your enemies as much as you judge yourself by your friends."
YALSA has some great suggestions on its blog.
If you don’t have book banning attempts in your community, take the time to thank your local school superintendent and library board for their intelligent understanding of the Constitution. If you do have challenges to books in your community, speak out loudly.
And last, some wonderful news for a change: attendance records at the National Book Festival were shattered as more than 130,000 book lovers turned out to listen to authors in Washington, DC.