100 signatures reached
To: Governor Phil Murphy & NJ State Legislature
Make the Garden State the state of guardin' intellectual freedom!
The United States is experiencing an unprecedented wave of attempted book bans. These stabs at censorship have created a climate of fear in schools and libraries across New Jersey, where so far 11 of our 21 counties have endured attacks on the right to read. In 2022 alone, the American Library Association recorded 13 attempts to restrict access to 28 books in New Jersey.
Recognizing the danger of censorship, legislators in Illinois, New York, and Rhode Island introduced "right to read" bills. As a national leader in educational excellence, New Jersey should join these states in establishing protections for intellectual freedom.
Why is this important?
Reading is a foundational skill, and an informed electorate is the bedrock of our democracy. That is why our founders established the First Amendment right of free speech, which enables us to speak, publish, read and view what we wish so that we can understand all sides of an issue and make our own judgments.
Since 2021, though, extremists operating under the banner of "parents rights" have attempted to restrict access to include only topics, authors and content that match their narrow world view. In what amounts to an intellectual insurrection, they are trampling on the First Amendment rights of children, parents, and families who experience the world differently, especially those from the BIPOC and LGBTQIA communities.
Sign this petition to join the chorus of mainstream voices reminding decision-makers that FREE PEOPLE READ FREELY.