What kinds of books are being censored?
According to PEN America, in 2022-23:
- 38% of books that were banned covered topics on health and wellbeing for students
- 20% of books that were banned included characters of color or discussions of race and racism
- 26% of books that were banned included LGBTQ+ characters or themes
PEN America’s report “Banned in the USA: State Laws Supercharge Book Suppression in Schools” has more in depth data, including state-by-state data on book banning attempts
What’s driving the attempts to ban books about race, sexuality, and gender?
What can you do about book bans in your school district?
One of the simplest ways to help is to report book-banning attempts to the American Library Association. Reports from parents, teachers, and students provide us with the data necessary to understand where these banning attempts are coming from and where we need to be fighting back.
Connect with local groups
Parent and student testimony at school boards, state legislatures, and even in one-on-one conversations with educators are the most powerful ways of showing that most parents are against book bans. The following resources might be helpful:
- Unite Against Book Bans Action Toolkit
- PFLAG’s Plan to Testify at Local Board Meetings
- American Library Association Fight Censorship resources
- Red, Wine, and Blue’s guides, online trainings, and in-person groups
Assert your legal rights
Sometimes book bans can violate your child’s legal rights by creating a hostile learning environment for them. Family Equality’s Title IX guide can help you with the process of filing a discrimination complaint.
Looking for support on your family’s school journey?
Family Equality hosts a virtual peer resource group every month for LGBTQ+ parents navigating school-related challenges! Register today to receive log-in information.
Nikhil Vashee (They/Them)
Director of Education Law and Policy, Senior Policy Counsel
This information was prepared and distributed by Family Equality.
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Family Equality exists to create a world where everyone can experience the unconditional love, safety, and belonging of family. Our mission is to ensure that everyone has the freedom to find, form, and sustain their families by advancing equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community.