You Can’t Read That!

You Can’t Read That! is a periodic post featuring banned book reviews and news roundups.

Great news! Instead of trying to preemptively ban controversial material in state schools, Florida instead plans to proactively expose 8th graders to new ideas. Oh, wait….

In previous YCRT! posts I’ve followed the battle between conservative parents and teachers over textbooks and reading assignments in a Dallas, Texas suburb. Here are the latest updates from Highland Park:

What happened in Texas, sadly, isn’t staying in Texas. The fever to whitewash American history has spread to Georgia, where the state senate is considering a statewide ban on AP history classes. Oklahoma too.

Oddly enough, conservative parents and elected officials in Jefferson County, Colorado, where the current round of opposition to teaching actual, as opposed to idealized, American history began last year, have dropped their efforts to ban AP history classes.

Meanwhile, in Kansas, a new front in the battle over education has formed. A bill making its way through the state legislature would allow for the arrest and prosecution of school teachers and administrators accused of exposing minors to “harmful material.” What kind of material are they worried about? Why, anything to do with S-E-X, of course!

Are American public libraries purging old books that reflect the racist assumptions of their time? This journalist says they are. If true, it’s something to be concerned about.

A British journalist offers a succinct summary of book banning in modern times, useful catch-up reading for those new to the topic, then outrageously claims Oxford University Press is telling prospective British textbook writers not to mention “pigs, pork or sausages for fear of causing offence.” I didn’t buy that … until I Googled it. Alas, it is so.

In some countries, accepting a copy of The Watchtower from a Jehovah’s Witness could land you in prison.

Here’s a pretty great infographic from the American Civil Liberties Union. Scroll away, banned book lovers!

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