ACLU Of Texas Issues 16th Annual Banned Books Report
Report Finds Fewer Books Banned; Review Process Revised In Many School Districts
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HOUSTON – The number of books banned in Texas schools decreased during the past school year as more school districts have turned to “review committees” to rule on book challenges.
Texas schools banned 12 books last school year, 2011-2012, a decrease from the 17 taken from shelves the previous year and the lowest number in a decade. Subjects that concerned parents, teachers and even a bus driver, included topics such as LGBT, teen and race issues; cursing and bad behavior; as well as “creepy illustrations.”
“There’s more awareness on the part of librarians and school administrators about how to handle complaints from parents,” said Terri Burke, executive director. “Administrators are learning how to engage parents in the process when objections are raised by those who want to ban books with messages that are contrary to their personal beliefs.”
“The ACLU of Texas absolutely respects parents’ right to choose what books their children read and work with teachers to find alternate titles when parents have concerns. But efforts by a single parent or small group to ban a title and keep all students from reading it infringes on the rights of other parents to make their own choices. That is the effect of banning books,” said Dotty Griffith, public education director.
The ACLU of Texas annually requests information on challenges to books from all Texas school districts and compiles the data in its banned books report, Free People Read Freely. A complete copy of the report is available here.
More information on the ACLU of Texas efforts to protect freedom of expression can be found at: www.bannedbookstx.org
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