The controversy over “book bans” in school libraries

December 4th, 2023

I’ve recently published commentary in CalMatters concerning the controversy over “banning books” in school libraries.

This article originally included links to samples of the materials parents are concerned over, however linking to those materials was judged inappropriate for publication.

For those who would like to form an objective opinion on the validity of parent objections to these materials and examine some of them in doing that, you can view them (WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT!) here and here.

I’ve had some pushback from those who perhaps have not been following this issue in detail, claiming that these books are not in general circulation in school libraries.

This is, of course, disproven for Oceanside Unified by the fact that they have officially declined to remove them. Samples of the materials and the OUSD response letters to requests for removal are here.

The fact that this is not just an isolated incidence at Oceanside Unified is demonstrated by the somewhat extensive listings here, and the fact that the New York Times considers one of these books – “Gender Queer” – to be “the most banned book in America“.