Central York School District Student Protests

Student Action Results in Decision by School Board to “Unfreeze” Anti-Racist Resources in Central York, PA

An anti-racist, educational resource list was “frozen” until it could be vetted by the Central York School District board. In August 2021, the Central York High School principal sent an email to teachers, with the subject line, “Banned Resources,” and instructions to “Please see the attached list of resources that are not permitted to be utilized in the classroom.”

Sri Lankan poet and teacher Ahnaf Jazeem

Detained for his Words — Sri Lankan Poet Ahnaf Jazeem is an Amnesty International Banned Books Week Case

For Banned Books Week each year, Amnesty International highlights stories of writers, publishers and artists under attack for their published work. In this blog post, we delve into one of this year’s six featured cases – the Sri Lankan poet Ahnaf Jazeem. He has been detained without charge or trial since May 2020. Read on to understand the reasons for his arrest and how to help with his case and for the other featured Banned Books Week cases.

Author Alison Bechdel is pictured on a navy blue background with geometric shape next to her photo on the left side of the image. The right side of the image reads: Happy Birthday Alison Bechdel

Happy Birthday, Alison Bechdel!

Bechdel is most known for penning the graphic memoir Fun Home, which was later adapted into a Tony-winning Broadway Musical, and her comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, which ran for 25 year in print and was later published online. Bechdel’s debut graphic novel, Fun Home, was published in 2006 and is about her relationship with her closeted father and her own journey with her sexuality. This year Bechdel reenters the graphic novel scene after nearly a decade away with The Secret to Superhuman Strength.

Photo of John Green on a stage, smiling and giving a thumbs up to the audience.

Happy Birthday, John Green!

I first encountered Green’s books after I took a course on children’s literature in graduate school in 2012. One of the final sections of the class featured banned and challenged books, and I selected Looking for Alaska, not knowing anything about Green or his books. I really enjoyed the novel, and though I hadn’t attended a boarding school like Miles and Alaska, felt a sense of understanding at Miles’ awkward and anxious high school experiences. I recall reading it and thinking, Okay, so what’s wrong with it?!

The words “Drag Queen Storytime” on a background of multicolored balloons

Drag Queen Storytime Continues to Stir Up Controversy as Well as Excitement Among Library Patrons

Since its creation in 2015, Drag Queen Storytime or Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH), as the official organization calls it, has gained as much negative attention as it has positive among library patrons and community members.. In 2019, 30 challenges were reported to the OIF for Drag Queen Storytimes and other Pride related events. But there are many Drag Queen Storytime fans and advocates out there as well, with LGBT-friendly churches stepping in to host events when libraries no longer can, to people coming to these events to show their love and support in the face of angry protesters. And while these programs tend to draw in big crowds because they are fun, they also have educational benefits as well.