Labor Day Marks End of a Busy Summer for CBLDF

cbldf_logoSummer seems like it should be a slow time for book censorship, but the last few months kept CBLDF and fellow free speech advocates busy. Now that Labor Day is here to mark the unofficial end of summer, let’s take a look at some of the books CBLDF helped defend over our summer vacation…

Pensacola Principal Cancels Little Brother Summer Reading Program

In a move reminiscent of South Carolina’s months-long battle over Fun Home at the College of Charleston, a high school principal in Pensacola, Florida, cancelled a One School/One Book summer reading program because he thought Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother was inappropriate for 9th and 10th grade students. Read the full post

• Superintendent Admits Policy Ignored in Little Brother Case

• Pensacola Teacher Will Not Lose Job Over Little Brother

This Compromise Is Not Acceptable: CBLDF Joins Coalition Condemning South Carolina Budget Provision

CBLDF joined a coalition of free speech advocates led by the National Coalition Against Censorship and the ACLU of South Carolina in issuing a joint statement that condemns a budget provision “compromise” that penalizes two state universities for assigning LGBTQ books, one of which was Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home. Read the full post

Florida School District Removes Paper Towns From Reading List

Florida seemed to be the place for unilateral book bans this summer. A few weeks after a Pensacola high school principal cancelled an entire summer reading program rather than let students read Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother, a Tampa-area school district removed Paper Towns by John Green from an eighth-grade summer reading list without following its own policy on challenged books. Read the full post

• CBLDF Joins Call to Restore Paper Towns in Pasco County

• Pasco County Response on Paper Towns Falls Short

Delaware School Board Removes The Miseducation of Cameron Post From Reading List

Yet another school district, in Delaware this time, removed a book from a summer reading list without following its own procedure for reviewing challenged materials. The Cape-Gazette newspaper reported today that the Cape Henlopen school board voted on June 12 to remove Emily M. Danforth’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post as an option on a list for incoming freshmen, even though at least two board members admitted not having read the entire book. Read the full post

• Nationwide Advocates Rally in Defense of Cameron Post

• Expert to School Board: Listen to Students on Cameron Post

• Cape Henlopen Board Eliminates Entire Reading List in Dispute Over Cameron Post

• Free Speech Groups Launch Cameron Post Essay Contest For Delaware High School Students In Response to Book Censorship

John Green’s Looking for Alaska Under Attack in Wisconsin

A parent in Waukesha, Wisconsin, has decided that John Green’s Looking for Alaska is not a book her high school daughter should read. She has also decided it isn’t fit for any student in the district, so she filed a complaint against the acclaimed and popular novel. Read the full post

• CBLDF Joins Defense of Looking for Alaska in Wisconsin

• Looking for Alaska Retained in Waukesha, Two More Books Challenged

• Waukesha Rejects Challenges to Two More Books

North Carolina Woman Continues Fight to Ban Absolutely True Diary

Since we last checked in with Brunswick County, North Carolina, where local resident Frances Wood is on a one-woman crusade to have Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian banned from Cedar Grove Middle School, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that a review committee at the school unanimously decided against removing the book, but the bad news is that Wood has appealed that decision. Read the full post

• Brunswick County Superintendent Stands Behind Part-Time Indian

Pennsylvania School Board Rescinds Ban of The Handmaid’s Tale

A Pennsylvania school board, which voted to ban Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale as a high school summer reading book, has reversed that decision at its subsequent meeting, the National Coalition Against Censorship has learned. As in so many other school districts this summer, the Ringgold school board initially failed to follow its own policy for dealing with challenged books — but in this case several board members felt immediate remorse and rectified their mistake as soon as possible. Read the full post

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