Updated 3/27/2023 – The school board has reviewed 4 of the books challenged and voted to retain the books in their schools. Those books were Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye”, Raina Telgemeier’s “Drama,” Amy Reed’s “The Nowhere Girls.” and Jerry Craft’s “New Kid.”
This shows why removing books pending adjudication is never a good idea. Students in Escambia County School District were deprived of valuable books for months for no good reason.
Updated 10/31/2022— NCAC has sent an additional letter to the Escambia County School Board.
Originally published 10/14/2022— The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has written to the Escambia County School District in Pensacola, Florida, regarding a recent restriction of over 100 books from school libraries— an action in violation of the district’s own regulations.
As we understand it, in response to a mass challenge from a single teacher, Superintendent Smith mandated that the more than 100 books in question could only be accessed with parental permission. This action by the Superintendent violated the district’s own book challenge procedure, which states that “[a]ccess to challenged resources shall not be restricted during the review process.”
Such procedures are essential to ensuring that large-scale meritless challenges to books are not initiated for the express purpose of limiting students’ access to ideas that certain individuals dislike. We urge the School Board to return the challenged books to shelves and to ensure that their own review procedures are followed in the future.
Please read our full letter to the Escambia County School District below:
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