Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-Fla.) unveiled legislation Tuesday to curb book bans.
“I’m proud to introduce the Fight Book Bans Act, legislation that will help our school boards and school districts overcome these relentless attacks on our civil rights and civil liberties and academic freedom,” Frost said at a press conference on Capitol Hill.
“The Fight Book Bans Act takes a stand against censorship by giving school districts the funding that they need to oppose these challenges.”
Frost’s home state of Florida was found to have the most book bans in the country last year, making up 40 percent of those across the nation, according to a report by free expression group PEN America. The group defines book bans as “any action taken against a book based on its content.”
“The toll of the book banning movement is getting worse. More kids are losing access to books, more libraries are taking authors off the shelves, and opponents of free expression are pushing harder than ever to exert their power over students as a whole,” Suzanne Nossel, chief executive officer of PEN America, said in a September report.
PEN America also found that book ban attempts increased by about a third during the 2022-23 school year.
“The censorship and attack on rights that we’re seeing in Republican-led states like Florida are reaching an all-time high, with school boards, school districts and our classrooms and students now on the frontlines of the culture wars to erase communities of color and silence voices of minorities,” Frost said.
Other House members who spoke at the press conference included Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-Texas), Rep. Greg Casar (D-Texas), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and Rep. Shontel Brown (D-Ohio). Both Casar and Crockett noted mounting book bans in their states.
“[T]he governor has worked on protecting kids from learning, protecting kids from books. These book bans are not public education,” Casar said of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R). “These book bans are a real public disgrace, in our state.”
Source : The Hill