The Scholastic Book Fair wants everyone to know it will follow anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.
In a press release, the organization stated that because of pending or already instituted laws banning the presence of LGBTQ+ and racism-acknowledging books in schools, they “create an almost impossible dilemma: back away from these titles or risk making teachers, librarians, and volunteers vulnerable to being fired, sued, or prosecuted.”
Since the fair comes to schools all across the country, they’ve decided to create a separate collection with these books, called “Share Every Story, Celebrate Every Voice.” Elementary schools would have to call them ahead of time to add it to their fair.
The statement concluded with, “We don’t pretend this solution is perfect – but the other option would be to not offer these books at all – which is not something we’d consider.”
Scholastic is of course referencing legislation like Florida Governor DeSantis’ “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which outlaws topics like sexual orientation and gender identity being taught in any classroom from kindergarten to the third grade. In a statement, DeSantis claimed, “It’s not something that’s appropriate for any place, but especially not in Florida.”
Schools like one in Fort Lauderdale removed any books referencing queer material or characters, saying they were just following the state’s orders.
This is part of a wider nationwide book ban, but which mostly include books that say racism and slavery were a thing, and that LGBTQ+ people exist. Over two dozen states have started banning books.
Scholastic Book Fairs in blue states will probably still have access to these books, but if more schools like the one in Fort Lauderdale follow the law, and don’t tell Scholastic to bring their collection, more and more kids won’t have access to books on identity.
Do you think Scholastic is doing the right thing? Why or why not? Let me know.
By Inti Navia, Freshman, Columbia College Chicago
All Platforms: @intinavia
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