Somewhere amid the current outbreak of parental fears over Covid vaccine mandates, misguided attacks on critical race theory being taught in elementary schools and the fistfights and yelling at school boards, we’re seeing a renewed attempt to ban textbooks…It’s not that parental challenges to textbooks are new, but the intensity is prompting the Department of Justice to act.
Justice is seeking ways to address a “spike in harassment, intimidation and threats of violence” against school boards, administrators and staff; against teachers, administrators and school board members in heated conflicts over Covid safety policies and curriculum content.
That, in turn, has Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and leading Republicans attacking Justice and offering to defend parental rights to decide that curriculum match their community values, even if it means banning books.
Titles like The Catcher in the Rye, A Brave New World, Lolita and Lady Chatterley’s Lover are among the classics barred from schools or libraries over time. Now there has been a shift. The American Library Association’s Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2020 showed that the books challenged the most concern “racism, Black American history and diversity in the United States.”
Uniform national standards aren’t the hardest thing in the world to create and order. Even in a nation barely competent as the United States. Finding politicians with sufficient backbone to stand up to archaic bigotry, racism and religion, is the hard part.