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TX ACLU Promotes 'Students' Rights Hub' During Banned Books Week

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Tuesday, September 20, 2022   

Ahead of Banned Books Week, the ACLU of Texas published what it calls a Students' Rights Hub.

Kate Huddleston, attorney for the ACLU of Texas, argued Texas school districts have become increasingly unwelcoming and even hostile to LGBTQ+, Black, Indigenous, brown and religious-minority students.

She said the Hub, which provides information about student rights, is necessary because certain Texas politicians are trying to ban books and implement policies targeting marginalized students.

"It currently is worse in Texas," Huddleston observed. "We are really at the center right now of an effort to restrict students' access to ideas."

Banned Books Week highlights challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. The Students' Rights Hub has information about what's happening in Texas schools and how to protect students' rights. The site also offers tools for reporting discrimination or censorship and teaches students how to speak at a school board meeting.

According to Huddleston, the Hub promotes inclusive education to counter classroom censorship, anti-trans policies, outdated dress codes and other forms of discrimination. It also allows students to explore banned books in Texas, and hear from other students directly about the books which have made them feel valued and their ideas for making school a more welcoming place.

"And it is essential that students have access to a wide range of ideas that enable them to learn and become full community members of our multiracial, inclusive democracy," Huddleston contended.

A survey by the American Library Association found 71% of Americans oppose efforts to remove books from public libraries, and 67% oppose efforts to remove books from school libraries.

Disclosure: The Annie E. Casey Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Education, Juvenile Justice, and Welfare Reform. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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