More Than 1,000 Books Banned From Schools Since July 2021, Study Finds

More than 1,000 books about race, racism, LGBTQ individuals and other issues have been banned in U.S. schools over the past nine months, according to a new report.

A study from PEN America, a literary and advocacy group, identified 1,145 books that were removed across 86 school districts in 26 states between July 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022. The policies affect 2,899 schools and more than two million enrolled students, according to the report, released Thursday.

This is the first such report detailing the breadth of book bans across the U.S. created by PEN America, and the authors said it showed a surge in bans. 

Nadine Farid Johnson, Washington director for PEN America and co-author of the group’s report, said the rise in book bans is a disservice to students and a threat to their First Amendment rights. 

“What we’re seeing here is a resurgence of widespread censorship in America,” she said in an interview Friday. “Public schools are intended to be these enriching learning environments and vital training grounds for Democratic citizenship.”

Source: WSJ and Pen.org and Vox