Parents have long raised concerns about school and library books — children’s and young adult books, and sometimes dictionaries — often for inappropriate content. The number of reported challenges in the past 30 years has hovered between about 400 or 500 each year, says Deborah Caldwell-Stone, an attorney with the American Library Association.
Whereas challenges once were mostly launched by a lone parent, Caldwell-Stone says she has noticed “an uptick in organized efforts” to remove books from public and school libraries. A number of challenges appear to draw from information provided on websites such as Parents Against Bad Books in Schools, or PABBIS.org, and Safelibraries.org, she says.
And the latest wrinkle: A wave of complaints around the nation about inappropriate material in public schools has stirred emotional argument over just how much freedom should be extended to students in advanced courses.
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