Est. 1995

Tag: “Don’t Say Gay”

Go, Iris Mogul!

Iris Mogul, a high school student who started a banned books club, is photographed with one of her favorite books during the “Walk for Freadom” kickoff event on Sunday, October 1, 2023 in Coral Gables, Florida. The march began at the Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ and ended at Books & Books. Carl Juste cjuste@miamiherald.comRead more at: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/coral-gables/article279931759.html#storylink=cpy

Iris Mogul, a high school student who started a banned books club, is photographed with one of her favorite books during the “Walk for Freadom” kickoff event on Sunday, October 1, 2023, in Coral Gables, Florida. The march began at the Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ and ended at Books & Books. Carl Juste cjuste@miamiherald.com

 

Since she was little, Iris Mogul has always loved reading.

When The 16-year-old junior at the Academy Academy for Advanced Academics in South Florida learned that her English teacher was considering not teaching a Toni Morrison book because of the state’s political environment, she decided to start a banned book club.

There were 300 books removed from Florida schools last year, according to a list released by the Florida Department of Education. Nationally, the American Library Association found that the number of books facing challenges for censorship is up 20 percent for the first eight months of this year compared to 2022. That includes more than 800 books in school districts across 37 states.

“It was kind of like a double whammy because it’s like an act of resistance… and it’s a way to start a book club and talk to people,” said Mogul, a student in a dual enrollment program at Florida International University. As part of Florida’s expanded “Parental Rights in Education” law, one parent or community member can object to instructional material or a school library book. The law, signed in May, requires the book or materials to be removed within five days of the objection and remain unavailable to students until the issue is resolved. More books were pulled from shelves in Florida public schools than in any other state last school year.

With everything that’s going on in the world right now, we really appreciate being able to share a bit of positive news…

Exclusion Is Unconstitutional

Acts of censorship in education perpetuated by a small group with concentrated power go against the principles outlined in the United States Constitution.

Acts of censorship in education perpetuated by a small group with concentrated power go against the principles outlined in the United States Constitution.

In states across the nation, acts of censorship—removing books from school libraries, disciplining teachers for teaching about racism and gender identity—are being committed under the disingenuous banner of “parents’ rights.” But what about the rights of other parents? There are parents who want their children to learn the honest history of our nation and have an educational experience grounded in research-based practices that benefit all children.

Supporters of censorship targeting topics of race and sexuality would likely argue that the rights of parents who want their children to receive an education informed by racial equity and LGBTQ+ inclusion do not count, as those parents might not comprise the majority in these jurisdictions. These supporters would contend that what the majority in a state or school district says, goes—and, in this case, that means the voices and experiences of people who have been historically marginalized must be silenced. Moreover, the argument goes, democracy requires the desires of the numerical minority to be subordinated to the numerical majority.

Democratic Principles for Civics Education

(click to enlarge)

There are two things to keep in mind when defenders of recent curricular bans argue that they act in the service of democracy. First, even if democracy requires majority rule, we should be skeptical that these instructional bans represent the will of the political majority in a state or school district. Second, and perhaps more importantly, the U.S. Constitution protects against the infringement of certain rights regardless of the will of the majority. This type of educational censorship is a violation of those rights.

Source:

Exclusion Is Unconstitutional

© 2024 CounterPoint