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Alpine School District pulls 52 books from its shelves following complaints

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Nick Fewings
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Unsplash

After receiving complaints about book titles and contents from parents, the Alpine School District has decided to pull 52 books off its library shelves.

Now at the center of the controversy about banning books, some organizations praising the decision and others criticizing it, the largest school district in Utah say that their actions were the result of legislation passed in Utah regarding sensitive materials. A statement from the district says that a committee will further review books to determine the appropriate validity of their inclusion in libraries across the district.

The 52 books in question included titles such as “This Book Is Gay” by Juno Dawson, “Lawn Boy” by Jonathan Evison, “People Kill People” by Ellen Hopkins, “Gender Queer” by Maia Kobabe, and “Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur. These are just some of the many books to be banned throughout the district.

Jonathan Friedman, director of free expression and education programs at PEN, says that removals of books shouldn’t be a routine thing in school libraries. Friedman says that students have a right to learn about the variety of human experiences that these books provide.

Two state library associations, The Utah Educational Library And Media Association and the Utah Library Association, both acknowledge that some books shouldn’t be in libraries, but believe that it’s important to have age-appropriate materials for kids and that it’s a disservice to limit a student’s ability to engage with challenging materials.