January 19, 2022

Florida: Petition Filed to Ban Two New Books in Duval County Public School Libraries

From Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville.com):

Currently, there are 11 literary works that remain off the shelves of Duval County Public School libraries due to past protests from concerned citizens, but Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said adding more works to that list would set a bad precedent.

“We are walking up a slippery slope when we start to decide what books we are going to ban from the curriculum,” he said.

Yet, this week administrators at Duval County Public Schools received a petition from several citizens protesting the use of two new books added last month to the third-grade reading list: “Nasreen’s Secret School” and “The Librarian of Basra” both said to be based on the true stories from the Middle East.

Those opposed to having them available in Duval Schools argue the books’ serious content, which details war and makes references to Islam aren’t appropriate for elementary-age children, while those on the other side like Vitti believe it will open children’s minds to a diversity of ideas.

The profile of the growing opposition was raised when a Facebook post recently went viral following the Duval School Board’s decision to approve a list of new supplemental reading material for the 2015-16 school year.

The Facebook post, which addresses parents of elementary students in the district, advises that students will be required to “read two books, promoting prayer to someone other than God.”

Read the Complete Article (982 words)

See Also: New Harris Poll Shows “Adults Are More Likely To Believe There Are Books That Should Be Banned Than Movies, Television Shows, or Video Games” (July 8, 2015)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.