This week, Hillary Clinton weighed in on the intensifying conservative push to restrict access to certain literary works and ideas in schools, pointing out that while Republicans obsess over these issues and push what amount to proposed restrictions on freedom of speech, students face serious real-world problems like the threat of gun violence that certain Republican officials prefer to leave largely unaddressed. In a post on Twitter, Clinton linked to an article in The New York Times that stated that “[parents], activists, school board officials and lawmakers around the country are challenging books at a pace not seen in decades.” Targeted topics have included racial history and certain elements of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Florida Republicans are currently debating a "Don't Say Gay" bill meant to discourage talking about LGBTQ+ history in the classroom.
This attempt is absolutely disgusting and must be stopped.
— Eddie Geller (@gellered) January 26, 2022
The Times report added that the ‘American Library Association said in a preliminary report that it received an “unprecedented” 330 reports of book challenges, each of which can include multiple books, last fall.’ As Clinton pointedly put it:
‘Republican officials won’t lift a finger to save American students from being shot in their classrooms. But they will “protect” them from learning about the Holocaust and slavery.’
Republican officials won't lift a finger to save American students from being shot in their classrooms. But they will "protect" them from learning about the Holocaust and slavery.https://t.co/ZuKA1Wydjw
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 31, 2022
Recently, Tennessee’s McMinn County Board of Education opted to remove the graphic novel Maus from eighth-grade curriculum about the Holocaust due to nudity and the usage of expletives — but that’s far from the only example of such a thing throughout the country in recent months. Among the more far-reaching examples of the trend is a bill that’s under consideration by Florida legislators that would make it so that schools “may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.” This concept, on paper, is broad, and observers have been seriously worried about the sorts of things that the bill could restrict if enacted. Obviously, the usage in schools of books dealing with these topics would be seriously threatened. What about children with non-heterosexual parents? What about students who are themselves non-heterosexual? Would they be able to simply talk about themselves and their families without fear of reprisals?
'Wrong and twisted': Chasten Buttigieg says Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' bill will put children in danger https://t.co/oZUIgTahki
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 31, 2022