The idea that books in American schools and libraries can be censored may come as a radical surprise to many who believe that the First Amendment of the Constitution prevents such things. The founding fathers, of course, also suggested that all men are created equal. Unfortunately, discrimination and inequality in America is commonplace and even encouraged among some religions and political representatives. And the last seven days in September showcased a perfect example of that fact as Banned Books Week celebrated its 37th year.
Started in 1982 by First Amendment and library activist Judith Krug, the week was established to draw attention to the number of books each year that are refused to be carried in stores, cataloged in libraries or permitted to be read in schools around the country. Religious groups, PTAs, and right-wing conservative advocates allow public institutes and private companies to be bullied into removing the availability of certain titles, including many whose subjects include LGBTQ themes.
This year’s top censored books include A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss (LGBT content), Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (teen suicide). Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner (stereotyping Mexicans), and Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan (LGBT content).