The National Coalition Against Censorship, along with the Authors Guild, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, have written to Siloam Springs School District in Arkansas regarding the removal of Susan Kuklin’s Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out from school libraries.
The challenge to Beyond Magenta was initially referred to a review committee. The committee evaluated Beyond Magenta and concluded that it should remain in the library. This is not surprising given the critical acclaim that it has received, including the 2014 Foreword INDIE for Young Adult Nonfiction, the 2015 Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Children’s/Young Adult Literature, and the 2015 Bank Street College of Education’s Flora Stieglitz Straus Award. The school board, however, overruled the recommendations of the review committee.
Recognizing that book challenges are often highly contentious and emotional, the district’s regulations ensure that decisions are made based on objective criteria which focus on the needs of students. The Board should be very hesitant to overrule the recommendations of a district review committee. Every book in a library is not right for every child, but the library as a whole should have books which appeal to each of the district’s students. The district can certainly address the concerns of parents who dislike the book by allowing them to opt out of permitting their children to check it out.
NCAC is urging the District to return Beyond Magenta to the library shelves.
Read NCAC’s letter to the District. Click here for a full screen view: