Optometrist FL mom joins with PEN America, Penguin Random House in lawsuit against book bans

New York Times, May 19, 2023, Michelle Goldberg

Lindsay Durtschi, a member of the P.T.A. and an optometrist who grew up in an evangelical household and attended a Christian college, joined a groundbreaking lawsuit with another parent, PEN America, Penguin Random House and a group of authors. They are plaintiffs against a Florida school and school board for their sweeping school library censorship. Much of the library censorship originated from one person, a high school English teacher who is a member of the neo-Confederate group Daughters of the Confederacy.

Majority of book challenges across the nation were filed by just 11 people

Washington Post, May 24, 2023, Hannah Natanson

Books about LGBTQ people are fast becoming the main target of a historic wave of school book challenges — and a large percentage of the complaints come from a minuscule number of hyperactive adults. In some cases, these serial filers relied on a network of volunteers gathered together under the aegis of conservative parents’ groups such as Moms for Liberty.

Amanda Gorman’s inauguration poem restricted in FL after single parent complaint

LA Times, May 25, 2023, Emily St. Martin

A committee restricted “The Hill We Climb” to elementary school students in Miami-Dade County, FL based on a single complaint from a parent. “Book bans aren’t new but they have been on the rise — according to the [American Library Assn.], 40% more books were challenged in 2022 compared to 2021.”

Many parents who are objecting to books / filing complaints are not actually reading the books to which they are objecting. Instead, they are copying and pasting objections from such websites as Book Looks, which offers a boilerplate for parents to follow and was founded by a member of the Brevard County, Fla., chapter of the group Moms for Liberty.

Florida school blocks younger students from reading Amanda Gorman’s ‘The Hill We Climb’ poem

USA Today, May 23, 2023, Kayla Jimenez

Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman slammed officials at a school in Miami-Dade County, Florida, on Tuesday for what she called a ban on elementary students reading “The Hill We Climb,” the poem she famously recited at President Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential inauguration. The decision was made under Florida’s new Parents Rights in Education law, after one parent complained. The objecting parent incorrectly wrote in her complaint that Oprah Winfrey had authored the book and that the book “is not educational” and “have…hate messages.”