Headline RoundupSeptember 22nd, 2023

Is the Rise in Book Bans Justified?

Summary from AllSides News Team

Attempts to ban certain books from U.S. classrooms and libraries are on the rise. Is it an attack on free speech or a move to protect kids?

The Details: PEN America, a literary nonprofit, "recorded 3,362 instances of books banned" in 2023, "an increase of 33 percent from the 2021–22 school year," according to its latest report. The American Library Association's (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom says there were 695 attempts to censor library materials and services in the first eight months of 2023, compared to 681 during the same period last year.

Where People Disagree: Some see the book bans as righteous because they target works like "Gender Queer," which features graphic depictions of sex. Others say the bans are targeting "the voices of individuals who raise questions about the status quo."

How the Media Covered It: Axios (Lean Left bias) said "book bans have become ammunition for conservatives in a culture war over what kids should be exposed to," and also highlighted the ALA's report that "a vast majority of the target books were written by or about a person of color or a member of the LGBTQ community." Washington Examiner (Lean Right) highlighted a source who said the bans "are typically centered on books that contain gratuitous depictions of sexual behavior," such as "Gender Queer." The Daily Wire (Right) highlighted a poll suggesting that 81% of Democrats and over 90% of Democrats see "Gender Queer" as inappropriate for schools.

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