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Fighting Against Book Bans and Censorship in Schools

Pro-censorship extremists are using book bans as a tool to prevent students from learning or reading about any topics that threaten their discriminatory agenda. These bans actively target content about LGBTQI+ identities, gender, and sexuality; race, racism, and the history of racism, segregation, and colonization; reproductive rights and sexual health; and consent, sexual harassment, violence, and abuse.  

Students need safe and inclusive learning environments to thrive. However, pro-censorship extremists are working to strip schools of inclusive materials and lessons to prevent students from having access to essential representation and limit their exposure to social issues and accurate United States and world history. This creates serious harm for students with the same identities that pro-censorship extremists often target in books, including by normalizing discrimination against people of color, women and girls, and LGBTQI+ people. It also risks further isolating students who need to see themselves reflected in what they read and learn so that they don’t feel alone in their lived experiences, such as survivors of sexual misconduct who may feel unsupported in coming forward about their victimization, students trying to understand their sexual or gender identity, and students of color who struggle to find representation in learning and reading materials. We must actively combat pro-censorship extremists’ efforts to decimate the education of a generation of students so that every student has access to the safe, inclusive learning environment they need to succeed.

This page includes information and resources about the censorship of inclusive learning materials sweeping the United States. Along with fact sheets and blog posts breaking down the issue, you can also find complaints we have filed on behalf of students being harmed by school censorship to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR).