ORLANDO, Fla. – As we enter the latter half of the 2022-23 school year, students and teachers are still seeing people pushing to pull certain books from the shelves within districts across the nation.
It’s a phenomenon that’s also impacting Central Florida’s school libraries.
Last year, PEN America, an international group that advocates for literacy freedom, released a report on the banned book movement, highlighting trends in what literature was being challenged.
Of the books banned between July 2021 and June 2022, 41% had LGBTQ themes, protagonists or prominent secondary characters, 40% had characters of color as primary or prominent secondary characters, 21% dealt with race or racism, and 22% contained sexual content.
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News 6 reached out to school districts in Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia counties to find out which books are being banned in the area.
You can find a list of books that have been banned or are currently under review within Central Florida school districts below. We will update the list with more responses as we receive them.
Brevard Public Schools
According to a school district spokesperson, no books have been banned, as a list of challenged books was rescinded by the person who initially filed the objection.
A school district spokesperson sent over the status of multiple titles, including several that were removed. The district added that all the books currently under review are from the high schools.
|A Court of Mist & Fury||Sarah J. Maas||Weeded in middle schools prior to 22-23 school year|
|Breathless||Jennifer Niven||Keep - high school only|
|Crank||Ellen Hopkins||Weeded prior to 22-23 school year|
|Damsel||Elana K. Arnold||Under review|
|Dreaming in Cuban||Cristina Garcia||Not in circulation|
|L8R G8R||Lauren Myracle||Removed|
|Last Night at the Telegraph Club||Malinda Lo||Under review|
|Looking for Alaska||John Green||Under review|
|Lucky||Marissa Stapley||Weeded prior to 22-23 school year|
|Me and Earl and the Dying Girl||Jesse Andrews||Removed|
|Push||Sapphire||Weeded prior to 22-23 school year|
|Sold||Patricia McCormick||Keep - high school only|
|The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian||Sherman Alexie||Keep|
|The Black Flamingo||Dean Atta||Under review|
|The Haters||Jesse Andrews||Removed|
|The Kite Runner||Khaled Hosseini||Part of adopted curriculum|
|The Nowhere Girls||Amy Reed||Under review|
|The Truth About Alice||Jennifer Mathieu||Under review|
|The Upside of Unrequited||Becky Albertalli||Weeded in middle schools prior to 22-23 school year|
|Thirteen Reasons Why||Jay Asher||Weeded in middle schools prior to 22-23 school year|
|Tilt||Ellen Hopkins||Not in Flagler Schools|
|What Girls are Made of||Elana K. Arnold||Under review|
Lake County Schools
A school district spokesperson sent over the status of multiple titles, including several that were removed.
|Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo||Jill Twiss||K-3||Administrative removal as per HB 1557 due to sexual orientation/gender identification|
|And Tango Makes Three||Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell||K-3||Administrative removal as per HB 1557 due to sexual orientation/gender identification|
|In Our Mother’s House||Patricia Polacco||K-3||Administrative removal as per HB 1557 due to sexual orientation/gender identification|
|The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian||Sherman Alexie||Elementary schools|
|Perks of Being a Wallflower||Stephen Chbosky||Middle and high schools||Administrative removal as per FL Statute 847.012 due to explicit sexual content|
|Looking for Alaska||John Green||Middle and high schools||Administrative removal as per FL Statute 847.012 due to explicit sexual content|
|Nineteen Minutes||Jodie Picoult||Middle and high schools||Administrative removal as per FL Statute 847.012 due to explicit sexual content|
|Crank||Ellen Hopkins||Middle and high schools||Administrative removal as per FL Statute 847.012 due to explicit sexual content|
|A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl||Tanya Stone||Middle and high schools||Administrative removal as per FL Statute 847.012 due to explicit sexual content|
|Me, Earl and the Dying Girl||Jesse Andrews||Middle and high schools||Administrative removal as per FL Statute 847.012 due to explicit sexual content|
|Tilt||Ellen Hopkins||Middle and high schools||Administrative removal as per FL Statute 847.012 due to explicit sexual content|
|House of Spirits||Isabel Allendale||Under review for use in the media center|
Marion County Public Schools
A spokesperson said no books have been banned and no books are in the challenge process within the school district as of now.
Orange County Public Schools
OCPS keeps a running list of challenged books on its website, and says that list will be updated as needed.
|Book||Author||School Year Challenged||Current Status|
|Gender Queer||Maia Kobabe||2021-22||Removed|
|Lawn Boy||Jonathan Evison||2021-22||Not Removed|
|Born a Crime||Trevor Noah||2021-22||Not Removed|
|This Book is Gay||Juno Dawson||2022-23||Removed|
|Let’s Talk About It||Erika Moen, Matthew Nolan||2022-23||Removed|
Osceola County School District
A school district spokesperson said it has not banned any books at this time.
Polk County Public Schools
The school district said it has not banned any books at this time. School officials added in 2022, they reviewed several titles challenged by Concerned Citizens Defending Freedom, and as a result, created an online system allowing parents to opt their child out of checking out certain books from the library.
More recently, the same group objected to several titles being purchased at two new Polk County schools under construction. The school board has since voted 6-1 to move forward with the purchase of those books.
Seminole County Public Schools
A school district spokesperson said it received challenges to eight titles, resulting in six of the books requiring a new parental consent procedure prior to checkout and two of the books being discontinued from high school media centers and classroom libraries.
|Date Rape||Christine Watkins||Parental consent required|
|Deogratias: A Tale of Rwanda||Jean-Philippe Stassen||Parental consent required|
|Push||Sapphire||Parental consent required|
|Sold||Patricia McCormick||Parental consent required|
|Triangles||Ellen Hopkins||Parental consent required|
|Tricks||Ellen Hopkins||Parental consent required|
|Let’s Talk About It: The Teen’s Guide to Sex, Relationships, and Being a Human (A Graphic Novel)||Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan||Discontinued|
Sumter District Schools
A school district spokesperson said there have been no requests to ban any books, so none is prohibited at this time.
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