Nampa, Idaho, Schools Permanently Remove 24 Books from Library

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In a 3-2 vote from the school board, 24 books were permanently removed from Nampa, Idaho, schools. The list, brought to the board earlier this year from “concerned parents,” includes books on the well-circulated Moms For Liberty book list. Here are the 24 books banned from Nampa schools:

The Kite Runner by Khaled HosseiniLeah on the Offbeat by Becky AlbertalliThe Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen WangThirteen Reasons Why by Jay AsherThe 57 Bus by Dashka SlaterDrama by Raina TelgemeierLooking for Alaska by John GreenThe Bluest Eye by Toni MorrisonThe Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret AtwoodL8r, g8r by Lauren MyracleOut of Darkness by Ashley Hope PerezPerks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyCrank by Ellen HopkinsThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman AlexieCity of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra ClareClockwork Princess by Cassandra ClareEleanor & Park by Rainbow RowellExtremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran FoerSold by Patricia McCormickSpeak by Laurie Halse AndersonThe 57 Bus by Dashka Slater33 Snowfish by Adam RappIt’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health by Robie H. Harris

In early discussions about the challenged titles, committee members considered keeping the first several titles on shelves. This list, with discussion, suggests that reviewers utilized Common Sense Media–a non-professional resource–to help guide their conversations about the books. No books were recommended for removal until a thorough review of the latter half of the list could be further evaluated.

The school board elected otherwise and voted to remove all of the books.

“By that time, we’ve traumatized or caused mental destruction to these students,” Vice-chair Tracey Pearson said. “I think it’s too long, and in the process could add lifetime trauma to a child who does not need to be experimenting with something that they have read about. It is very destructive and scary.”

Tracey Pearson is connected to the Idaho Freedom Foundation, whose mission is, “to make Idaho into a Laboratory of Liberty by exposing, defeating, and replacing the state’s socialist public policies.”

Pearson, along with Jeff Kirkman and Brook Taylor, won seats on the Nampa School Board last fall, giving it a conservative majority.

Idaho politicians have made books a focal point in the last year. This legislative session saw the the House pass HB 666, intended to criminalize librarians who had “objectionable” material available for children in the library (it has yet, and likely will not, proceed through the state Senate). State Representative Heather Scott cohosted an event late last month to help train individuals in challenging and removing books from libraries across the state.

It is not yet clear what will happen to the books being removed from Nampa schools. This decision was not made by the committee comprised of librarians, educators, and community members but instead made by the conservative majority of the Board–a power that they do not have but exercised anyway.

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