Thoughts on Book Banning from a Scientist, Author, and Parent
Enjoy this excerpt from a Dallas Morning News OpEd by David Hu, author of The P Word, in which he discusses the importance of education and open dialogue, even in the face of book bans. Read the full article here.
Banning books won’t stop puberty
I’m a scientist, I’m a parent, and I’m an author. All three of these things mean that I’ve been paying attention to the rise in book bans in schools and public libraries across the country — particularly when it comes to children’s books about marginalized groups, health and sexuality.
Last year, there were demands to remove over 2,500 books from library shelves. More than half of the attempted book bans targeted materials in school and classroom libraries. Of school bans in the past couple of school years, 38% featured themes of health and wellbeing and 41% featured LGBTQ+ themes.
These books are hand-picked, put on shelves, and recommended by librarians who understand the needs of their schools and community members. These librarians talk with parents and spend time finding the right books for their library’s patrons — not to mention that many library books are requested by patrons, meaning actual, local community members could be requesting these reading materials.
It’s no surprise — nor is it unintentional — that these topics make up a majority of the bans. With bans continuing across 26 states, more than 4 million children are losing access to books that could help them better understand themselves and their peers.