38 min

Libraries Off-limits: Examining Florida’s book bans Into the Mix

    • Documentary

Andrea Phillips loves her job. She works at an elementary school as a reading interventionist, teaching struggling readers to love books. When she was told by her district to pack up her classroom library earlier this year, she was devastated. 

In 2022, Florida lawmakers passed HB 1467. This new law mandated that every book in Florida public schools be cataloged and reviewed for “harmful content”, and that schools create a system for parents to petition the removal of books they found inappropriate. Out of an abundance of caution, two county school districts – including Andrea’s – decided to block or remove all unreviewed books from schools while they adopted this new system. Otherwise, administrators worried they could be liable for violating another Florida law. In effect, more than 175,000 Florida students went to schools where library books were off-limits for part of the school year. Across the state hundreds of books containing themes of race, sexuality, and LGBTQ identities have been pulled from school libaries, even classics that are required reading in other states. Critics say this is just another example of Governor Ron DeSantis attempts to silence marginalized voices in Florida classrooms.

Book bans have happened throughout our country’s history, usually in response to changing social norms. But when public education is unequal and struggling schools can’t afford to lose any resources, what do laws like this do to our most vulnerable students? Host Ashley C. Ford explores Florida’s book bans, their effects on students and educators, and the evolving history of American public education.

For more information on how to support teachers and get banned books to kids, visit ALA’s Unite Against Book Bans campaign, and support Foundation 451.

Into The Mix has been nominated in the Signal Awards for Best Public Service & Activism podcast! Vote for us below to help support the show. Voting closes on October 5.
https://bit.ly/itmsignal
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Andrea Phillips loves her job. She works at an elementary school as a reading interventionist, teaching struggling readers to love books. When she was told by her district to pack up her classroom library earlier this year, she was devastated. 

In 2022, Florida lawmakers passed HB 1467. This new law mandated that every book in Florida public schools be cataloged and reviewed for “harmful content”, and that schools create a system for parents to petition the removal of books they found inappropriate. Out of an abundance of caution, two county school districts – including Andrea’s – decided to block or remove all unreviewed books from schools while they adopted this new system. Otherwise, administrators worried they could be liable for violating another Florida law. In effect, more than 175,000 Florida students went to schools where library books were off-limits for part of the school year. Across the state hundreds of books containing themes of race, sexuality, and LGBTQ identities have been pulled from school libaries, even classics that are required reading in other states. Critics say this is just another example of Governor Ron DeSantis attempts to silence marginalized voices in Florida classrooms.

Book bans have happened throughout our country’s history, usually in response to changing social norms. But when public education is unequal and struggling schools can’t afford to lose any resources, what do laws like this do to our most vulnerable students? Host Ashley C. Ford explores Florida’s book bans, their effects on students and educators, and the evolving history of American public education.

For more information on how to support teachers and get banned books to kids, visit ALA’s Unite Against Book Bans campaign, and support Foundation 451.

Into The Mix has been nominated in the Signal Awards for Best Public Service & Activism podcast! Vote for us below to help support the show. Voting closes on October 5.
https://bit.ly/itmsignal
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

38 min