Bush reelection connected to rise in book bannings?

Students in Muhlenberg, Pennsylvania took the stage at a school board meeting recently to argue for and against banning The Buffalo Tree, “a novel set in a juvenile detention center and narrated by a tough, 12-year-old boy incarcerated there.” After one student read “a scene set in a communal shower, where another adolescent boy is sexually aroused,” the board voted unanimously to ban the book from the curriculum.

And no, it’s not just your imagination. The American Library Association confirms that schools’ and libraries’ efforts to ban books are on the rise. The director of the library association’s office for intellectual freedom:

attributed the most recent spike to the empowerment of conservatives in general and to the re-election of President Bush in particular. The same thing happened 25 years ago, she said. “In 1980, we were dealing with an average of 300 or so challenges a year, and then Reagan was elected,” she said. “And challenges went to 900 or 1,000 a year.”

(Thanks to Wah-Ming Chang for the link.)


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