Letter to the Editor: Don't Let Maine Republicans Ban the Books

Letter to the Editor: Don’t Let Maine Republicans Ban the Books

I’m writing in response to “Maine Republicans Adopt Platform to Ban Sexual Materials and Transgender Identity in Schools.” (May 2) Banning books shouldn’t be a party platform. Decisions about program materials are made locally and should be left to teachers, librarians and local school boards.

The American Library Association is documenting an unprecedented number of book challenges. In 2021, 1,597 books were affected by censorship attempts. 10x the 156 challenges reported in 2020. Additionally, the 2020-2021 legislative sessions saw state lawmakers nationwide introduce a bill that would impair the ability of educators to purchase and make available various materials , resources, training and programs in their communities. In Tennessee, lawmakers have publicly declared they will burn books deemed inappropriate. Burning books with state aid in 2022?

The freedom to read is essential. Sex education material is not pornography. All identities need to see themselves represented in the books they read. Critical race theory is a legal theory taught in law school; a term widely misused. It is indeed appropriate to make efforts to reverse systemic racism by discussing anti-racism in school – teachers and librarians making professional decisions about what age-appropriate materials to include in lesson plans. Measures are already in place to ensure that parents can direct their children to the reading material they deem appropriate.

Personally, I don’t want the Maine Republicans deciding what materials are or aren’t appropriate for my child. Don’t let Maine fall victim to censorship and book bans. We can do better.

Sonya M. Durney
East Waterboro

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