As projected, these first two months of 2022 have proven to be busy as book challenges continue. We have been working to stop censorship both publicly and privately. Last month, Maus made national news when a Tennessee school district removed it from the curriculum. This high profile event brought a lot more attention to what is happening in our schools.
We must continue to reignite our efforts and speak out to protect the place of graphic novels and books in the school system. In addition to the challenges we’ve seen in 2022, there have also been victories. The Wake County DA dismissed criminal charges levied against a school district; in Orange County, North Carolina, the review board voted unanimously to retain Gender Queer: A Memoir; and in Virginia Beach City, Virginia, we saw a similar vote result in the decision to retain challenged books.
Below is a roundup of recent challenges and the letters we’ve signed in solidarity with the National Coalition Against Censorship and the local communities who are organizing and speaking out to protect the rights of students.
You can find the full text of the letters below.
Maus Removed from Curriculum in McMinn County, Tennessee
The school board of McMinn School District voted unanimously to remove Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize–winning graphic novel Maus from the curriculum. This decision came despite the protest of teachers urging its importance in helping to teach students about the Holocaust.McMinnMausLetter2022
Drama Among Books Removed Pending Review
Drama by Raina Telgemeier was one of fifteen books that were removed after a challenge. A majority of these books were targeted for involving LGBTQ issues.Polk-letter
School District Pulls Over 400 Books for Review
In a response to a list of 800 books provided by Texas State Representative Matt Krause, North East School District has pulled over 400 books pending review. This is a decision that runs contrary to school policy.North-East-ISD-letter
Georgia School Removes Student’s LGBTQ Artwork
Student works of art that were related to LGBTQ issues were removed from display at an elementary school in Georgia.Clarke-County-letter
Llano County Library Removes Children’s Books
It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris and In The Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendack were both removed from a public library after a patron complaint. Reportedly, the library did not follow their book challenge policy.Llano-County
CBLDF and its partners have been battling ongoing and organized attempts to censor comics and other books in schools and libraries. The ban of Maus is just the latest — and most high profile — attempt to limit access to information. You can join the struggle by making a donation or reporting censorship today!