Skip to main content

To: Todd A. Ferrante William E. Buchanan Donald C. Smack, Sr. Jon M. Andes, Ed.D. William L. Gordy Elena J. McComas Katie Addis

Worcester United Against Hatred

We won!

I would like to express my concerns about two recent proposals. The first concerning proposal is the possibility of creating a restricted section in our school libraries that would only be accessible with a permission slip. The second proposal is that all Worcester County residents should have the ability to submit book challenges. It is my firm belief that current library policy and procedure must be upheld, ensuring that only parents, students, and school staff have the authority to submit book challenges and no book is placed in a restricted area. The creation of restricted areas within our libraries represents a form of censorship, which goes against the principles of intellectual freedom that our educational institutions should uphold.

Book banning, including the segregation of books into restricted sections, is detrimental to our students and contradicts established library best practices supported by professionals in library studies. Moreover, such segregation could lead to stigmatization of students who access these sections, potentially making them targets for bullying. Our focus should be on fostering an inclusive and supportive learning environment, not on creating unnecessary divisions.

Engaging in discussions about book restrictions also diverts valuable time and resources away from addressing pressing issues facing our school systems. It is crucial to prioritize matters that directly impact the quality of education and the well-being of our students.

As per our county's existing policies, the right to challenge books should be reserved for parents/caregivers, teachers, and students. This approach aligns with best practices and recognizes that what constitutes controversial or mature themes varies widely from student to student and family to family. School librarians, equipped with Masters' Degrees in Library and Information Studies, diligently follow district policies for book selection and collection development. Their expertise ensures that the library remains a space for diverse perspectives and ideas.

While parents have the right to control their child's access to certain materials, it is essential to acknowledge that no individual should have the authority to control what all children have access to. Upholding the existing policies ensures a balanced approach that respects the diverse values and beliefs within our community.

I kindly urge you to consider these points and advocate for the preservation of our current library policies. Together, we can ensure that our school libraries remain spaces that foster intellectual freedom, inclusivity, and the pursuit of knowledge.

Thank you for your attention to this matter, and I look forward to your continued support in maintaining the integrity of our educational institutions.

Why is this important?

Parents already have the right to limit their own children's reading selections. Creating a restricted section that is only accessible with a permission slip creates unnecessary steps. The books have already been vetted by library professionals.

By opening book challenges to all residents, parent rights are diluted as anyone can choose to limit the books that are available in libraries.

Worcester County, MD, USA

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


2024-01-12 15:48:39 -0500

Petition is successful with 2 signatures