The notion that the mere presence of inappropriate language and allegedly suggestive images is justification for a book’s removal sets a harmful precedent that, for example, a classic work of literature that contains adult language, or an art history textbook that includes a nude, should also be kept away from teens.
The letter argues that choosing to remove a book citing “community standards” sets a dangerous precedent for future book challenges.
The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and 6 other organizations committed to defending the right to read are urging a North Carolina school district to reinstate a children’s book in a 1st grade anti-bullying lesson plan after it was removed following pressure from local Republican lawmakers concerned about its gender-nonconforming themes.
The book, Jacob’s New Dress, was pulled after Republican lawmakers complained. For several month a group called Values Coalition has charged the district of using “indoctrinating” materials.
NCAC highlights that Stuck in the Middle is praised for its realistic, un-sanitized depiction of difficult situations that characterize the harder truths of teenage life.