Your Inclusive Policy Postcard 10.21.2023
October 21st, 2023
DID YOU KNOW?: CHANDLER RESIDENTS SUPPORT LGBTQ-INCLUSIVE BOOKS
Our hearts are full after witnessing so many Chandler residents Rise Up and urge the City Council to stand with librarians and ensure that community members have access to LGBTQ-inclusive books in public libraries. Here’s what they had to say:
“Books are the keys to understanding, learning, and growing. Regardless of our background or circumstances, we all deserve the right to explore these worlds, expand our minds, and have the same opportunities. Books are vital to our society.”
“LGBTQ-inclusion is not a radical concept: it is basic care and empathy for others.”
“Banning books does nothing to protect our children. What it does do is further hurt and marginalize our minority students.”
“Censorship in any form is a slippery slope and is in direct conflict with the principles of democracy.”
“Council members – you have been committed to inclusion in the city of Chandler, don’t deviate from that.”
“As a parent preparing my daughter for adulthood, it’s my responsibility to talk to my child about books that she’s interested in. To limit our book options in the public library is un-American.”
BOOK BAN EPIDEMIC: CONGRESSIONAL REPORT ON BOOK BANS
Earlier this month, Rep. Jamie Rankin released a report on national trends in book bans and curriculum gag orders. The report describes how attacks on intellectual freedom threaten public education, exacerbate the teacher shortage, and politicize K-12 classrooms. Here are some key findings:
Book bans and curriculum gag orders threaten public education: Curriculum gag orders and challenges to books continue to undermine teachers’ ability to share knowledge and deny students the ability to learn and grow in a pluralistic society. The goal of this movement is to undermine confidence in public education and to elevate publicly funded private and religious schools over public schools. Some activist groups have gone as far as directly calling for a mass exodus from the public school system.
These attacks are rapidly increasing across the country. The number of proposed educational gag orders in states increased 250% between 2021 and 2022. Since January 2021, more than 300 bills that would curtail teaching about race, history, and gender in public schools were introduced in states across the country.
Conservative lawmakers and activists are politicizing and polarizing classrooms and exacerbating the teacher shortage. Recent surveys by the American Federation of Teachers indicate the overwhelming majority of educators view political and ideological attacks on teachers and book and curriculum bans as aggravating stressors to the general difficulties of educating young people. As of February 1, 2022, there were approximately 600,000 fewer teachers in the United States than there were prior to the pandemic.
IN THE NEWS
Teens are getting better at pushing back against dress codes. Read More.
‘Worthy to live a normal life’: Arizona health conference to bring equity for LGBTQ community. Learn More.
Scholastic allows schools to ‘opt out’ of diverse titles at book fairs. Read More.
FBI crime statistics show anti-LGBTQ hate crimes on the rise. Learn More.