District That Banned LGBTQ Books Relents After Pressure From Students, ACLU

A school district in Kansas City, Missouri, has retreated from a policy of banning LGBTQ-themed books after a group of students and other organizations — including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) — demanded an end to the practice.

The North Kansas City Schools District responding to complaints from parentsTwo books were removed earlier in the year by, All Boys Aren’t Blue,George M. Johnson has written a book that reflects on his experiences as a queer, Black teenager. Fun Home Alison Bechdel’s book, “The Story of My Father”, is about her experiences with him. She later discovers that he is gay.

The ACLU sent a letter directly to the district stating that students have the right to access these books.

“Students must be free to access library books — without discrimination or censorship — that are LGBTQ+ affirming as well as books that provide an inclusive and accurate history of racism,” the letter from the organization read.

The matter was discussed at a school board meeting on Monday evening, where over a dozen students from the district spoke out against the district’s actions.

Parents who take issue with these or other books shouldn’t be able to dictate what students who are not their children can have access to, these students said.

“I see no wrong in telling your child not to read a book,” one of those students said, according to a report from local television station KMBC. “However, to tell every child that is a violation to the rights of students.”

As a result, the district accepted the offer and agreed at the meeting to return the books to the shelves of the high school library.

The North Kansas City School Board won This is an emblematic example of right-wing problems many districts, school administrators, and teachers face across the countryAs conservative parents complain about books in school libraries that are Black or LGBTQ-related, Many LGBTQ advocates are fighting to stop the suppression of these narratives and books, including students and teachers.

Writing for Truthout This was earlier in the month, author Henry A. Giroux, who is also the McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest in the English and Cultural Studies Department, explained that such book bans, which are being pushed by Republican politicians, are “vehicle[s] for white supremacy, pedagogical repression, excision and support for curricula defined by an allegiance to unbridled anti-intellectualism and a brutal policy of racial exclusion.”

“The banning of books in the United States, which bears a dangerous resemblance to the Nazi book burning, represents a startling vision of the Republican Party’s disdain for democracy and its willingness to resurrect totalitarian practices linked to earlier periods of censorship, repression, terror and state violence,” Giroux said.