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Reporting Censorship

You have the power to report book bans and other censorship efforts.

The same organizations and people who falsely claim that CRT is taught in schools are aiming that energy against inclusive education to include books about race or gender. There are easy steps to name and report the attacks on equitable inclusion.

Here are the four steps to take when fighting book bans (borrowed from the NCAC):

[1] Do your research. 

  • Know the Policies. Know what your school policies are around choosing books (“materials selection”) and the procedures around challenging them. You can usually find these on your school’s website. You can also request them directly from your school. If you want to know what to look for, you can take a look at the NCAC’s model school book review policies.
  • Read the Book. Read the whole book. This way you can have an idea of the whole story when opponents pick and choose individual images, passages, or scenes to condemn a book as inappropriate for students. Often those making the arguments against the book have not read the entire work.
  • Gather Expert Opinions. Find reviews from reliable sources (i.e. School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist) and be informed of the rationale behind teaching certain books, which are often provided by the National Council of Teachers of English. Be aware of what awards and commendations the book has received.

[2] Find allies. Reach out individually to people that you know personally and professionally, gauge their interest, and encourage them to read the books in question. Talk to them about why you feel strongly that these books should stay in schools. Publicly post on online forums, email lists, social media expressing concern and asking for support. Encourage others who agree with you to attend school board meetings, write letters, coordinate messages.

[3] Don’t let those who oppose books be the only voices heard. 

  • Advocacy tools:
    • Attend board meetings and sign up to speak
    • Write letters to school administrators, board members, and local officials.
    • Contact local media and write letters to the editor. [link to op-ed/lte one pager]
    • Start or join social media campaigns. [Link to social media one-pager]
  • Talk to your kids about free expression and why it’s important to fight for all students to be able to access books.

[4] Amplify student voices. Allowing students to stand up for themselves in public debate is a powerful tool. Allow them to speak about why these books matter to them and why their rights must be protected.

Additional resources:

Pieces of Me film poster, with photos of Joslyn DeFreece from current and growing up.

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