Saturday, November 26, 2022


An investigative probe into how rules written for distressed rust belt property may benefit a select few; Small Business Saturday highlights local Economies; FL nonprofit helps offset the high cost of insulin.


A Supreme Court case could have broad implications for the future of U.S. elections, results show voters rejected election deniers in many statewide races, and the concession phone call may be a thing of the past.


A water war in Southwest Utah has ranchers and Native tribes concerned, federal solar subsidies could help communities transition to renewable energy, and Starbucks workers attempt to unionize.

Utah Teachers, Librarians Alarmed by Calls to Ban Controversial Books


Thursday, December 16, 2021   

SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah teachers and school librarians are reacting with alarm to a growing problem of parents and other groups demanding books they find objectionable be removed from shelves.

A coalition of Utah educators, librarians and social advocates spoke out this week on recent calls for several volumes -- some of them literary classics -- to be censored because they contain controversial sexual or cultural references.

In response, the groups representing librarians and teachers have published an eBook highlighting libraries' role in defending the First Amendment.

Tricia Fenton, president of the Utah Educational Library Media Association, said the demands are growing louder and more threatening.

"We support thoughtful conversations, we support following processes," Fenton explained. "What we can't support is recklessly going through and pulling books off of shelves indiscriminately because they are deemed offensive by certain members of our communities."

One group, Utah Parents United, told a Salt Lake City TV station they are calling for schools to "quit protecting pornography and materials harmful to minors." They cited a Utah law defining those terms.

Groups including Equality Utah, the Utah Pride Center and the NAACP joined librarians in a news conference this week calling for a halt to censorship.

Fenton pointed out some of the books are aimed at high school-age kids grappling with identity issues and struggling to fit in.

"We really strive to have the same kinds of First Amendment freedoms available for our students," Fenton stressed. "Of them being able to read books that not only reflect themselves -- when they read the book, they should be able to see themselves in it -- but we also want to provide windows to other perspectives."

Fenton added the American Library Association reported a 60% increase so far this year in book challenges across the U.S. She noted some of them come with legal threats.

"They are also moving now for legal action against teacher librarians and teachers in general," Fenton reported. "They're looking for criminal negligence charges to be applied."

The librarians are encouraging parents to work with them and school officials to develop reasonable standards respecting both parents' rights and intellectual freedom.

Disclosure: American Federation of Teachers contributes to our fund for reporting on Education, Health Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
During open enrollment for 2022 coverage, Georgia saw a record number of individuals, more than 700,000, sign up for health insurance. ( Stock)

Health and Wellness

Open enrollment for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act is already underway, and ends on Jan. 15. More than 1.3 million Georgians do …

Social Issues

Holiday shoppers this week have no shortage of options with Small Business Saturday being observed on Nov. 26. Sandwiched between Black Friday and …

Health and Wellness

The American Heart Association has developed a series of videos to educate women about heart disease. The Red Chair Series is a four-episode series …

Chris Powers stands in front of the Land Bank lot that he tried to bid on in Southern Ohio. (Eye on Ohio)

Social Issues

By Lucia Walinchus for Eye on Ohio.Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan for Ohio News Connection Collaboration reporting for the Ohio Center for Invest…

Social Issues

While many Iowa families gather through this weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving in traditional ways with food and family, thousands of people take to …

The EPA claims that the EES Coke Battery plant has emitted thousands of tons of sulfur dioxide annually beyond its permitted limit of 2,100 tons. (Wikipedia)


Members of a Detroit-area community are intervening in an Environmental Protection Agency lawsuit against a DTE Energy subsidiary charged with dumping…

Health and Wellness

A bill headed to President Joe Biden's desk addresses a long-standing problem for domestic violence survivors, ending their ties to their abusers' …


Oregon is home to a plethora of rivers, but those waterways are not always accessible to every community. A new video series highlights how …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021