The Florida legislature is well on its way to approving a bill that could have dramatic consequences for Florida students’ and teachers’ intellectual freedom. Proponents of HB 989 / SB 1210 claim that the bill improves transparency and gives parents a stronger voice in their children’s education. But we have to ask questions about these claims.
A school librarian explained that her administration would be installing security cameras in her school library, and she wondered if she should voice a protest to the decision. An interesting discussion evolved from her initial inquiry.
On March 21, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (NC) chose to voluntarily pull Jacob’s New Dress from a lesson on anti-bullying because Republican legislators in the state’s General Assembly were up in arms … Why this abrupt decision and interest by the General Assembly? It’s a simple answer: HB2.
In October, a parent in Issaquah, WA objected at the district school board meeting to the inclusion of ‘Mangaman’ in the high school library.
Far more than just “keepers of the printed book” (our original job description), we are now, perhaps more than ever, guardians of our teens’ emotional as well as intellectual needs. A large part of our job responsibility is to provide a safe space, a blanket of warmth and comfort, a plethora of intellectual and emotional resources to the young adults we serve.
A new report from a UK digital textbook provider has shown that many students are fine with teacher snooping if it ends up leading to increased classroom performance. The report, titled “University of the Future,” implies a strong benefit to allowing teachers to track what students have read and how long they have spent studying.
Regulations have been proposed and are being considered by the Virginia Board of Education which would require local school districts to tell parents whenever books or textbooks contain “sexually explicit material” are being used for teaching.
In an increasingly digital world, it is no surprise that the lines between print and online media are likewise becoming blurrier. Nearly every type of print media has a digital counterpart. As a result, the library profession’s attention and efforts to preserve resource access must move beyond protecting print materials to include digital and online materials access as well.
As we celebrate Banned Books Week and the freedom to read, we focus on Banned Websites Awareness Day and the “overly restrictive blocking of legitimate, educational websites and academically useful social networking tools in schools and school libraries.”
“When we quietly censor books that deal with tough issues like heroin addiction or books like Alex Gino’s GEORGE, which is a wonderful story about a transgender fourth grader, we are hurting kids. Because no matter where we teach, we have students who are living these stories. When we say, “This book is inappropriate,” we’re telling those children, “Your situation…your family…your life is inappropriate.” This is harmful. It directly hurts children. And that’s not what we do.”