Story at a glance
- Two students are suing a Missouri school district over its decision to remove eight books from its libraries.
- The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, for the Eastern District of Missouri on behalf of two unnamed students who are minors.
- The lawsuit states the district removed “eight critically acclaimed books” from its library shelves.
Two students are suing a Missouri school district over its decision to remove eight books from its libraries.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Missouri filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri 9 on behalf of two unnamed students who are minors. The class action lawsuit alleges the district removed the books because they disagreed with the “diversity of ideas and minority viewpoints, including with respect to race, gender, and sexual identity.”
“School boards cannot ban books because the books and their characters illustrate viewpoints different of those of school board; especially when they target books presenting the viewpoints of racial and sexual minorities, as they have done in Wentzville,” Anthony Rothert, director of integrated advocacy of ACLU of Missouri, said in a statement.
“The first amendment protects the right to share ideas, including the right of people to receive information and knowledge,” Rothert continued. “We must protect this right, including educators’ and students’ rights to talk and learn about race and gender in schools.”
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A local NPR affiliate reported that when someone requests a book’s removal, it is the district’s policy to remove the book in question while it is under review.
The lawsuit states the district removed “eight critically acclaimed books” from its library shelves: “The Bluest Eye,” by Toni Morrison; “Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic Paperback,” by Alison Bechdel; “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” by George M. Johnson; “Heavy: An American Memoir,” by Kiese Laymon; “Lawn Boy,” by Jonathan Evison; “Gabi, A Girl in Pieces,” by Isabel Quintero; “Modern Romance,” by Aziz Ansari; and “Invisible Girl,” by Lisa Jewell.
Changing America has reached out the Wentzville School District for comment.
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