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Book Banning Heats Up In Florida

By Charlotte Robinson, November 17, 2023

In Florida the Collier County School District has taken more extreme measures to suppress students’ freedom to read by removing more than 300 titles from its school libraries including Toni Morrison, Stephen King, Ernest Hemingway & Mary Higgins Clark. The move is an effort to comply with Florida’s obscene new legislation expanding the so-called ‘Don’t Say LGBTQ+’ law. HB 1069 gives the district the grounds for removal of content that broadly “depicts or describes sexual conduct.” Melanie Willingham-Jaggers GLSEN Executive Director stated, "Politicians & school boards in Florida have chosen to withhold students’ access to education & history; limit their rights & stifle their opportunities to participate in our multiracial democracy. Inclusive school curriculum including access to books about LGBTQ+ people & people of color can act as a window for students into the diverse world around them, as well as a mirror to reflect their own experiences & identities. We must speak out against book bans & vote for down-ballot candidates like school board members & state legislators who support inclusive education." Chris Schmeckpeper-Kobzina, GLSEN Collier County Co-Chair concluded, "Banning books because they contain LGBTQ+ content, or cover issues of race or ethnicity, is an explicit attempt to silence the stories of communities that already face an onslaught of legislative attacks, especially in Florida. This generation of students will be seriously impacted by this district’s policy & over-interpretation of the law." For over 33 years GLSEN has championed LGBTQ issues in K-12 education & with LGBTQ youth under attack across the nation GLSEN is fighting book bans through their Rainbow Library Program. 

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