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Windy City Times 2023-12-13
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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Utah school district removes LGBTQ+ books from libraries
2022-08-02

This article shared 2032 times since Tue Aug 2, 2022
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A Utah school district removed 52 books from its library shelves due to parent complaints mainly concerning LGBTQ+-focused material, LGBTQ Nation noted.

A spokesperson for Alpine School District tells The Salt Lake Tribune that the district has temporarily pulled the books (which include 21 LGBTQ+ titles) pending further review. Another 32 books have also been flagged for investigation.

Members of the conservative group Utah Parents United, which advocates for parental rights in education, have led the effort to ban the books in Alpine and other Utah school districts.

In a statement Windy City Times received, free-expression advocacy group PEN America responded with a statement, saying the banning is a worrisome development and calling on the district to reverse its decision.

In guidelines meant to help districts craft policies for reviewing challenged books, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes (R) said, "While there is no specific law stating that books must be left in the library when facing a challenge, leaving books on the shelves while pending review helps to ensure that schools are not engaging in prior restraint."

Jonathan Friedman, director of free expression and education programs at PEN America, in response, said: "Sweeping removals of books are not supposed to be a routine thing in school libraries. Students have a right to learn about the variety of human experiences and perspectives that these books provide. Serious questions remain about how this decision was arrived at, and whether state statutes were properly applied."


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