To the Editor:

I am writing this as a parent of two students in the district in response to the recent book challenge put forth by a former School Board member. I wish to state my wholehearted opposition to this book challenge and any performative, reactionary attempts to ban or censor material based on ill-informed subjective assertions or alignments with national agendas.

It is a discomforting possibility that this specific book challenge is an attempt to test the official process in order to pave the way for further challenges, which serve to distract the school board from doing meaningful work and sow the seeds of distrust in our librarians and administrators.

The disquieting national trend of challenging and banning books in schools and libraries is one that I had hoped in vain would spare our district. It is my opinion that the people and organizations behind this movement rely heavily on contextomy to stoke fear and outrage to openly promote an agenda of exclusion, discrimination, intolerance, and religious authoritarianism with the greater goal of dismantling public education.

This school district is very fortunate to have wonderful and capable librarians who are trusted to provide a diverse, enriching, entertaining, and intellectually stimulating selection of reading materials to our children. I firmly stand behind our librarians with unwavering support and confidence.

“If this nation is to be wise as well as strong, if we are to achieve our destiny, then we need more new ideas for more wise men reading more good books in more public libraries. These libraries should be open to all — except the censor. We must know all the facts and hear all the alternatives and listen to all the criticisms. Let us welcome controversial books and controversial authors. For the Bill of Rights is the guardian of our security as well as our liberty.”  – President John F. Kennedy

Josh Morton
Albany Township

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