by: Carina Branson
A list of books removed from circulation in Goddard school libraries includes novels by Margaret Atwood and Toni Morrison. (Suzanne Perez/KMUW)
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Goddard school district has returned the 29 books they had recently pulled from circulation after one parent challenged the order.
On Thursday, Nov. 4, the district removed nearly 30 books from their libraries. This comes after a parent complained about the language and graphics used in a book their child came home with back in September. They then created a list and requested the books to be put under review. The books were pulled from shelves as a result and “made to hold” until further notice.
The complaint focused on the novel “The Hate U Give,” written by Angie Thomas. The story follows a 16-year-old girl who witnesses the fatal shooting of her best friend by a police officer.
Listed among this novel were books that feature themes about gender identity, race, and sexual orientation. Books such as “They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group” by Susan Campbell Bertoletti, “Fences” by August Wilson, “Gender Queer” by Maia Kobabe, and “This Book is Gay” by James Dawson.
We see other popular novels in this list, such as “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky, and “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison. You can find the full list here.
“When this list came to our attention, we checked with multiple school librarians regarding the national push to challenge these books,” the email sent out to parents and guardians in the Goddard school district said.
Social media users took to the internet; they were not happy. Even some authors joined in on the conversation.
When you’re banning books, you’re on the wrong side of history. https://t.co/i6J6LbUS8E
The email was sent out Wednesday, Nov. 10, after deciding to put the challenged books back into circulation.
“Today, after the review, the recommendation from principals and librarians is to leave all books active and to encourage parents to contact them directly if they have questions about the books being challenged nationally,” the email said.
According to The American Library Association, book challenges have been up 60% since last year.
Even last month, Texas lawmaker Matt Krause sent out an investigation. He made a list of about 850 books and asked schools statewide to tell him if they had the books on his list and how much money they spent on the books. Most of which had themes of race or sexuality.
Jonathan Friedman, director of free expression and education for PEN America, said that the Goddard case was troubling because books were pulled off shelves before the review.
“That’s very concerning, considering the importance of individual liberties and the importance of the freedom to read in a democratic society.”
“You have a single parent … produce a list of books, and the district says, ‘Sure, no problem. We won’t let anybody read those books because one parent complained,’” Friedman said.
BREAKING: Here's the full email from @USD265_Goddard. #ksed pic.twitter.com/eHyUjROsG3
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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Sedgwick County Zoo honored veterans today by allowing veterans, active military personnel, their families and the families of deployed military personnel complimentary zoo admission.
“We salute members of our nation’s military, both active duty and veterans, for their dedication and service. To show our appreciation, we’re offering complimentary Zoo admission to all military personnel and their immediate families.” said the Sedgwick County Zoo on their website.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Royals star catcher Salvador Perez earned his fourth Louisville Silver Slugger Award on Thursday.
It probably won’t come as a surprise to many Royals fans after Perez’s record-setting season.
Cooler air has continued to spill into the Central High Plains after yesterday’s cold frontal passage on blustery northwest winds. Sunshine was abundant today as high pressure settled into the region, but it will not stick around for long.
Clouds will increase Thursday night as a fast-moving system produces a few raindrops or flurries in its wake.