Today, the National Coalition Against Censorship applauded the decision of the Elgin Area School District U-46 to return Judy Blume’s "Forever" to the shelves of the district’s middle school libraries. The decision to reinstate "Forever" came as the result of a 5-2 vote by the School District U-46 Board on January 22, 2002.
This is not the first time that the school board has dealt with the presence of "Forever" on school shelves. In 1997, the book was removed from the one area middle school that carried it at the time because of a parent’s initial complaint and the school board’s resulting vote to remove it. In 1999, after a 2-year waiting period per school district policy, a school librarian asked the school board to reconsider its 1997 decision. The book remained off the shelf after school board members voted 3-3 on whether to lift the ban. The January 2002 vote came about as a result of a new request from the same librarian as in 1999.
"Forever," an award-winning novel, is about an 18-year-old high school senior’s first serious romance. Despite its overwhelming popularity with young adult readers, it has been repeatedly challenged and/or removed in school districts across the United States during the past 20 years.
"After nearly 4 years, we are pleased to see that the Elgin Area School District U-46 finally decided against censorship in their school libraries. Many middle school students possess the intellectual capacity and maturity to read and understand books such as ‘Forever’ and they and their parents have the right to make their own decisions about whether or not this is appropriate reading material for themselves," said Joan Bertin, Executive Director for the National Coalition Against Censorship.