Republicans and Democrats overwhelmingly agree classrooms should be safe havens for learning, not political battlegrounds. Through faulty study findings and tens of millions of dollars’ worth of political gamesmanship, opportunistic leftist groups and a complicit media have now distorted the efforts of parents to keep sexually explicit and inappropriate material off the shelves of school libraries. These “book banning” lies threaten parent-teacher relationships that are crucial to creating the best learning environments for America’s children.
In Case You Missed It, Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee Chairman Aaron Bean (R-FL) penned an op-ed for the Washington Examiner to expose the efforts of left-wing groups, like PEN America, to mischaracterize efforts by parents to ensure school libraries do not include sexually explicit material.
National political groups should stay away from school libraries
By: Rep. Virginia Foxx & Rep. Aaron Bean
November 9, 2023
In a healthy school environment, teachers and parents work together to maximize the educational potential of every single child. That means deciding which books are age-appropriate for a school library among themselves, not among the whole nation.
While book challenges have existed from time immemorial, highly organized groups, such as PEN America, are mobilizing to label concerned American parents as “book banners,” a recipe for political disaster.
The leftist media unfortunately have parroted these talking points, labeling parents groups such as Moms for Liberty as fascist book banners!
This media coverage paints an inverse picture of the actual influence these groups wield. On one hand, PEN receives $29.1 million in revenue and has $36.8 million in assets, and on the other, Moms for Liberty has a paltry $370,000 in revenue and $207,000 in assets, all stats according to 2021 tax filings.
PEN is the Goliath to concerned parents’ David.
PEN greatly exaggerates and mischaracterizes parents who simply want to moderate inappropriate content in their children’s school libraries.
Research has found that 74% of PEN’s [listed] “banned books” are still available in school library catalogs today.
Back in real America, parents know the scope of book removals is greatly inflated by the media. Parents know that their demands for sexually inappropriate books to be removed from library shelves are not free speech violations. And parents certainly know they aren’t “book banners.”
Recently, the Committee on Education and the Workforce held a hearing to get to the root of the problem. PEN’s director of free speech and education programs made one inadvertent, crucial admission: “Organized groups of activists and some politicians have launched a campaign to exert ideological control over public education, unprecedented in its scope, scale, and size.”
We agree. PEN America should stay away from school libraries.