Banned books: Parents push for censorship on the rise

Attempts to ban books in schools and public libraries are surging this year, according to preliminary data from the American Library Association (ALA).

"We’re seeing an unprecedented and unremitting wave of book censorship in schools and libraries across the country," said Deborah Caldwell-Stone, the director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.             

Through August of this year, the group said they’ve documented 681 attempts to ban or restrict books, with 1,651 unique titles being targeted. Both numbers are on pace to exceed record-highs set in 2021.

Caldwell-Stone said most of the efforts target marginalized or historically underrepresented voices.

"Now we’re seeing individuals at school board meetings, library board meetings, with a list of 25, 35, 50 books and demanding that they all be removed en masse," she explained.

Similar efforts to ban books have been made in recent years in Fairfax County, Spotsylvania County, and just this week in Fauquier County, to name a few.

"I guess we live in a world now that public schools would rather have kids read about gay pornography than Christ," Spotsylvania County School Board member Rabih Abduismail said at a public meeting in November 2021.

"It’s perfectly fine for a parent to guide their child’s reading," Caldwell-Stone told FOX 5 Friday. "Everyone should have the ability to make choices about what they read and about what their family reads. I don’t think that they should be able to impose those choices on other families."

National "Banned Books Week" begins Sunday. Some local libraries, including in the District, will be taking part.